Growth on tap

Executive met with Monisha Abraham, general manager at Brasserie Almaza, to discuss the business of beer in the country, market share, exports and plans for a new brewery.   You recently came to Beirut to manage Almaza, which is owned by Dutch group Heineken. How long have you been with the Heineken Company? I started working

HST is set to open a flagship store in downtown Beirut (Greg Demarque | Executive)

Holding the middle ground

On the clouded horizon of Lebanese retail in 2015, the next quarter’s biggest bang in fashion retail may well be a new store in the, recently often maligned, Beirut Central District. Come this spring, Hamra Shopping and Trading Company (HST), best known for its retail brand Grand Stores (GS), will open a new retail space


Politics and public health

Health Minister Wael Abou Faour caused quite a stir by telling the Lebanese they are eating “shit” — his word, not ours. What he failed to do, however, is give any details about the methodology and precise results of tests on food his ministry recently conducted. In short, Abou Faour spread fear, not information. He

Distributors of larger quantities of bottled water number in the hundreds (Greg Demarque | Executive)

A dangerous source

In the dead of a crisp November night, the elite unit of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces prepared to pounce. Their target? An unlicensed neighborhood water distributor at the southern edge of Beirut’s Hamra district. Acting on a tip from public health minister Wael Abou Faour, the police stormed the distributor’s ad hoc basement factory, shutting


How to do an IPO

An initial public offering, or IPO, is a company’s first offering of its equity to public investors; its main objective is for the company to raise capital. It is generally an intensive process that requires a number of regulatory authorizations and processes that may be quite burdensome, as well as the necessity of obtaining professional

Fin Comm Moussa

A sea of small fish

Whether it is mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, managed accounts, individual securities or any other alternative investment, one can safely assume that the needs of high net worth individuals are catered for by both local and international banks and financial institutions. There is a plethora of financial products and services to address the

Fin Intro

Struggling to capitalize

While naturally there are incremental increases to any reputable Lebanese financial service business, 2014 did not see any developments out of the ordinary. The lack of real activity on the capital market front in Lebanon remains a barrier for the financial service industry to properly flourish, though the efforts of the Capital Markets Authority since

As time wears on, Lebanon’s financial sector is yet to flourish

Stunted growth

As Lebanon’s banking sector continues to be as solid as a rock the financial sector is perhaps its deprived younger cousin. However, many financial firms and boutiques do stake it out from their headquarters in the heart of glossy downtown, adding to a space already crowded by investment units of commercial banks and financial advisory

The Troll A oil platform in Vats, Norway (Swinsto 101 | Wikipedia | CC BY 3.0)

Towards energy independence

The dictum ‘the Stone Age did not come to an end because the world ran out of stone’ still rings true. The transition to forms of energy other than oil, gas and coal will happen — and is happening — and therefore will continue to happen in 2015. In fact, 2015 will serve to remind

Countries in the Eastern Mediterranean are exploring ways to monetize and export gas

Floating an idea

The Eastern Mediterranean is a complex environment for gas producers and countries aspiring to become gas exporters in the next few years. Not only do they have to deal with the usual industry challenges, but also with an even tougher factor: geopolitics. A recent report commissioned by the Norwegian government highlights such difficulties by indicating,

O&G intro

Unexplored potential

A political decision is needed in 2015 for Lebanon to begin exploring for offshore oil and gas reserves. Until the government passes decrees delineating the offshore blocks and approving model exploration and production sharing agreements — which have been drafted and ready for debate and approval since early 2013 — we simply will not know

Natural gas would boost the country’s energy sector

Reality sets in

The chances of Lebanon signing offshore exploration and production sharing contracts with oil and gas companies in 2015 are slim, but that does not mean that all work in developing the emerging sector will grind to a halt. New legislation is in the works on tax rates for oil and gas companies as well as

Motorbike comment

Hell’s angels

Can any trade sector survive without governing laws? In Lebanon yes, it is possible, yet some business owners struggle to keep their companies as legitimate as needed. It does sound ironic, but at all times in this country you have to fight your way into legality. Legal and governmental institutions have been formatted to accept

(Greg Demarque | Executive)

Two wheels a go-go

Two wheelers have never been an overly popular mode of transport in Lebanon. There are, at one end of the spectrum, the cheap runaround bikes favored for day to day use and by delivery men, and at the other end, motorbike enthusiasts who prefer the saddle to a car seat. But the middle ground of

BDL's circular 369  requires down payments for loans to be a minimum of 25 percent

It came out of nowhere

At the end of every year, automotive dealers typically begin massive liquidation campaigns to get rid of their older stock and make way for newer models. The 2014 campaigns are set to be more drastic than usual, as distributors face tremendous challenges that are curtailing their sales and piling up the amount of inventory sitting