Author Archives: Maya Sioufi

Bridging troubled waters

Bridging troubled waters

All seems relatively quiet in the Lebanese banking world, for now. Lebanon’s banks are still growing. They are still making money, too. While their profits are not swelling at the same double-digit rates as in the past, the fact that they are still in the black is welcome news given the fatigued economy and appalling

Creative endeavour

Walking through the buoyant Beirut Art Fair on its opening night last month, one could understand why the city has been featured as one of 12 worldwide to watch for contemporary art according to a new book published by Phaidon Press, titled “Art Cities of the future: 21st-century Avant Gardes”. Lebanese artistic talent has even

Behind Lebanon’s newest film

"Ghadi”, the soon-to-be-released Lebanese movie, is not about the civil war, nor about sectarian tensions; it is about accepting someone who is different. A story with a fantasy twist, it’s a tale of tolerance and of hope; a timely message for the Lebanese in these challenging times. Local movies of its caliber are unfortunately rare,

The rainbow economy

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. In an unprecedented statement in July of this year, the Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) became the first of its kind in the Arab region to declare that gay people are not mentally ill and do not require treatment. This was welcome news in the Lebanese homosexual community which has

Colony Capital’s Middle Eastern move

Roughly $8 billion have been transferred from the Middle East and North Africa into the care of Tom Barrack, the founder and chief executive of real estate private equity firm Colony Capital. Grandson of Lebanese immigrants to Los Angeles, Barrack founded the company in the City of Angels in 1991 and now manages $25 billion

Preserving the family home

There is a new family running Khoury Home. Since 2011, Lebanon’s largest household appliance and electronic retailer has been suffering financially in the face of rapidly changing economic conditions. As of this past January Romen Mathieu, managing director of the EuroMena private equity funds of London-based financial institution Capital Trust Group, stepped in as chief executive

Planting cedars in America

The slump seems to be history. While its problems are not forgotten, the housing market, whose crisis pitched the United States economy for years after 2008, is this year flipping into the engine of economic growth, if statements of US banking majors are worth the paper they are printed on. “If this call is right,

Betting on Berlin

Tourists, hipsters, everybody is welcome. Party like it’s 1945.” That’s the slogan of the underground political group Hipster Antifa Neukölln, founded last summer in Berlin in reaction to increasing resentment toward foreigners, who have been accused of gentrifying the city. Europe’s trendiest capital is attracting tourists and affluent expats, as well as property developers such

A city run by kids

With school out for the summer, parents return to the task of planning their childrens’ daily activities. For those that did not schedule a babysitter or summer camp, KidzMondo, a mini city for children that opened its doors last month, could provide respite. Located in Beirut’s Waterfront area, the 10,300 square meter (sqm) indoor children’s

Lebanon’s four newest banks

Political turbulence and economic uncertainty have not stopped new banks from opening their doors in Lebanon. For this month’s special report on the banking sector, Executive spoke to the general managers of four debutante institutions — Cedrus Invest, LiBank, Lucid Investment and Optimum Invest — with an aim to assess their performance, strategies, goals and