Author Archives: Matt Nash

The legal building blocks of the ecosystem

The legal building blocks of the ecosystem

Lebanon is an awful place to start an innovative, new business venture – from a legal perspective, at least. There are a few general rules that apply to startup companies: 1) Around 90 percent are expected to fail; 2) Founders typically have no cash, investing all they have (and all they can raise) into the

Selling a national oil company

The National Oil and Gas Company of Lebanon. Sounds official. It isn’t. But not for a lack of trying. Many countries with revenue from mining the “Devil’s excrement” (or Satan’s flatulence, to extend the metaphor and fully capture the industry) have a state-owned company participating in oil and gas operations (a working interest, as it’s

The twisted tale of the Lebanese Canadian Bank

You thought it was over, didn’t you? Assuming you remember the rise and demise of Lebanese Canadian Bank, from its ascendance in the 1990s until it was struck by US allegations of terrorism finance and money laundering (for Hezbollah) in 2011. Executive trusts that you also know of the subsequent investigations and negotiations. They resulted

Meet the megas

The confidence many developers have in the Lebanese real estate market is certainly not inspired by the numbers. On paper 2015 and 2016 look like the two worst years since 2007, yet this year and last have seen the launch of a handful of large-scale residential projects – one of which is the largest development

Trash and the towns

Lebanon’s garbage crisis predates independence. Case in point, the country’s first sanitary landfill was built in the 1990s even though the technology emerged around the 1920s. Despite repeated policy failures by successive governments, however, the situation could be turning around. Their own devices By law, municipalities in Lebanon have the authority to handle their own

Wasting time

There, blocking the right-hand lane of traffic, was history repeating itself. Four days after the municipality of Bourj Hammoud blocked access to a temporary waste storage facility on August 24, uncollected garbage was spilling onto the Mirna Chalouhi Road in an eastern suburb of Beirut. If the latest pile-up of trash on the ground suggests

Decoding the oil deal

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is having trouble making up his mind. Or so it seems. On July 1, Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil struck an unexpected deal. The agreement was touted as a bulldozer clearing the final barrier that, for over three years, has blocked the conclusion of Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas

The rocky road from inventor to businessman

Antoine Sayah is learning how to actually build a business. Two years ago, he was an undergraduate studying architecture and working on an assignment for a design class. Students were tasked with building a product that was “useful in your everyday life,” he recalls. A Jounieh native, Sayah loves the beach. He made a foldable

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