Author Archives: Anthony Mills

Slippery Business

Slippery Business

Declining domestic consumption and an inability to compete on the international volume market are forcing Lebanon’s olive oil producers to go niche. It’s a nice idea (selling as it does, Lebanon’s ancient olive-oil-producing heritage and a quality attributable to the country’s soil, climate and general environment), but for the $250 million olive oil sector, which

Smoking out the competition

Lebanon’s days as a liberal haven for tobacco advertising may be numbered, in light of a petition signed by 10 MPs that urges the parliamentary health committee to outlaw all forms – above- and below-the-line – of tobacco advertising. However, established industry giants – such as Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International,

Broadening horizons

Banque Nationale de Paris Intercontinentale (BNPI), an offshoot of France’s BNP Paribas, is celebrating its 60th year in Lebanon, an indication that the bank remains confident of the Beirut market. Based on the niche market the bank has already carved for itself and its plans for regional growth, it is clear that the decision to

Reeling in the ladies

Beirut is saturated with restaurants, but how many are owned by 17 women and two men? That is the story behind Pinocchio, the five-month old $140,000 Italian ‘Pizzeria-Trattoria’ in Ashrafieh. The 140-chair restaurant threw open its doors for business in January, and has since been consistently packed for lunch and dinner. So much so that

Market trends

While new, high-end residential developments continue to define the current residential market, the bulk of Lebanon’s residential real estate sector is marked by illiquidity and inflexible prices because of many owners’ reluctance to sell and an unwillingness to accept professional valuations. However, a drop in interest rates, prompting investors – notably, Gulf Arabs and Lebanese

Fight against fakes

In the first six months of last year, Adidas Lebanon’s general manager, Zeina Hallak, noticed that sales of the famous sports clothing had dropped by 20%. What she discovered was disturbing. Not only were illicit dealers selling faked Adidas products, but also official Adidas outlets had replaced authentic goods with fake ones. Their excuse? “They

Breadwinners: Pain d’Or’s golden touch

Pain d’Or, the Lebanese bread, pastry, and confectionery manufacturers are investing $20 million into a new Saudi Arabian operation, which the company hopes will eventually lead to a multinational status. The new company, which will open in a year, will incorporate Pain d’Or’s full production, sales points and delivery network concept as Pain d’Or’s whole

Hanging on in there

For the time being Verdun is still Beirut’s leading shopping district. This is the verdict from retailers and real estate brokers alike, who despite acknowledging that the area will eventually feel the pinch from Beirut’s Central District – believe that Verdun has the ‘critical mass’ to weather the storm However, many experts feel that this

Battling the tide

Saudi billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s recent $98 million purchase of a 49% share in the satellite broadcasting arm of leading Lebanese television station LBC International has provided a welcome, if modest, boost to Lebanon’s satellite television sector. The industry has been struggling to compete with cash-laden Gulf channels like market leader MBC and

Young blood: Al Balad’s big debut

There’s a new newspaper in town and it’s in your face – television, billboards, vans, in other newspapers, sales people in the street, your doorstep, even the office. Al Balad’s marketing is aggressive; with start up costs of $6 million, its investors are not taking any chances, especially with a daily print run of 65,000

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