Cheers for the beers

Compared to the ancient history of beer in the Middle East, Lebanon’s small craft breweries are extremely new on the scene. The earliest evidence of beer brewing was found in Mesopotamia some 6,000 years ago, while the world’s oldest brewery, which was located in Egypt, dates to around 3400 BC. Beer eventually made it to

In high spirits

Behind that flute of prosecco or gin-based cocktail enjoyed at a bar after a long day—or even the single malt whisky or bottle of wine recommended by a premium specialty liquor boutique—there is an intricate distribution chain. Executive sat down with Lebanon’s major spirit importers and brand owners to discuss the Lebanese drinks of choice

Bringing order to the Order

After living in France for 30 years, Jad Tabet, an architect and urban planner, returned to Lebanon early last year to run for the presidency of the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut (OEA), an independent trade syndicate covering all Lebanese regions bar the North. Tabet campaigned as an independent against Paul Najem, a

Is Lebanon technologically ready to tackle growth?

In March 2017, The Economist reported that Intel, the giant American chipmaker, paid $15.3 billion for Mobileye, an Israeli firm at the forefront of developing autonomous-car technology. The deal was not the first to involve an Israeli tech firm attracting foreign buyers, but it was the biggest yet. The Mobileye acquisition is an example of

Legal aspects of digital currencies

In the virtual Wild West of the digital economy created by the internet revolution, the emergance realm of cryptocurrency represents an important legal frontier. The rise of cryptocurrencies can be thought of as a digital-money revolution. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to transform the way people view money, how they transact, and even the overall structure

Lebanon hops on the crypto train

Antoine Yazbek and Zaki Soubra are budding Lebanese cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, and they radiate seriousness in their endeavor. As a journalist, one is inclined to consider an entrepreneur serious if they answer a series of probing interview questions without losing their temper at the intrepid—or sometimes just intractable—media type across the table. A more general measure

Seeking crypto transparency

The concepts and realities of digital currencies are, at best, confusing. To understand more about the Lebanese cryptocurrency community, and the opportunities that the cryptocurrency economy opens for Lebanese business and banks—including the idea of a sovereign digital currency issued by Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s central bank—Executive sat down with Stéphane Abichaker. A locally well

The bitcoin revolution

In a white paper sent to a cryptography mailing list on October 31, 2008, an unidentified individual (or group) using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto described what the paper’s title called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” This paper was soon followed by a software implementation of the cash system believed to have been compiled by

Disruptive technology

In the long run, which will be the bigger B? Will the banking industry do to blockchain, and thus to the soul of Bitcoin, what in recent years it started doing to feeble fintech operators: acquire challengers and digest unwanted competitors before they can threaten legacy players? Or will the blockchain bacterium lead to a

The crypto challenge

For years, the world has been engulfed in accelerating debates full of fear and fascination about Bitcoin, altcoins, and blockchain economies. Just look at January 2018, which brought threats and announcements of state regulation over cryptocurrency in some jurisdictions, bans of exchanges, rumors of impending restrictions alongside news pointing to the opposite, reporting on both

CA Indosuez Wealth Management

Executive sat down with Jean François Deroche chief executive officer of Indosuez, the wealth management arm at Crédit Agricole’s S.A. (CASA), and François Farjallah global head of the Middle East and Africa for Indosuez. In a November 2017 interview, the pair discussed Indosuez and CASA’s governance, international investments, and presence in the Middle East. E

Q&A with LPA

Lebanon is approaching a milestone nearly eight years in the making. In December, cabinet awarded two separate exploration licenses to a consortium of three companies: France’s Total (the operator), Italy’s Eni, and Russia’s Novatek. Contracts were signed at the end of January, leaving the consortium and the government about one year for preparatory work ahead

One eye open

In the midst of Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas licensing round, the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI), an independent NGO aiming to develop a network of Lebanese oil and gas experts, commissioned a study about the 52 companies that had prequalified to bid. This research allowed LOGI to evaluate the companies based on

Environmental impact

Five years ago, Lebanon was ready to invite companies to explore for oil and gas offshore. A law organizing offshore exploration had been passed, an environmental study—known as a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)—to study and mitigate the effects of exploration on the environment had been prepared, a regulator had been appointed, and the bid round

Lebanon’s O&G wealth

Lebanon signed oil and gas exploration contracts on January 29, and officials hope to one day save and invest proceeds from selling and taxing the resources, if commercial quantities are found. It could take time to find oil and gas deposits off the coast of Lebanon, and even more time to extract and bring them

Top