Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Promoting peace in the Mideast

Promoting peace in the Mideast

Executive sat with Matahiro Yamaguchi, Japan’s ambassador to Lebanon, to discuss the country’s humanitarian aid to Lebanon, April’s CEDRE infrastructure investment conference, and prospects for peaceful resolutions to the region’s conflagrations. E   The Japanese Embassy is now funding a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)-designed project targeting job creation, productivity gains, and market access

New infrastructure for education and research

To say that infrastructure is a hot topic in Lebanon is quite the understatement. As infrastructure deficiencies loom large and many new initiatives to implement necessary projects are, realistically, still months or even years away, it is good news that an oft-overlooked need for an academic research and communication network is moving gradually toward fulfillment—with

The essential view

Executive sat down with Riad Salameh, the governer of Banque du Liban (BDL) to discuss the prospects for the country’s GDP, the role of the central bank, and the external and internal challenges that lie ahead. E   Thank you for sitting down with Executive at this crucial time for Lebanon. I understand that you

IT in banking

Some business success stories surprise like new gourmet recipes. It occasionally happens that culinary innovations start with ingredients which by and in themselves do not appeal to everyone as superb delights for the senses—for example liverwurst and artichokes, or Brussels sprouts and tofu—but make a winning dish when combined. Likewise, hardcore banking and software development

Strongest linkage or missing links?

The list of infrastructure needs is long, yet the wish list of these projects for Lebanon is still very rough, and as Executive noted last month, looks methodologically as messy as a disorganized teenager’s room waiting for an encounter with neatness. As the projects in the vast national infrastructure file may contain some old and

News on the house of Saradar

Over the past three to four years, Saradar Bank was being developed as a universal bank with a full range of services in corporate, private, and retail banking. The process was aimed at engineering one differentiated banking entity out of two smaller banks, Near East Commercial Bank and Banque de l’Industrie et du Travail. Although,

Buoyed by banks

The relationship between the Lebanese economy and its banks is not quite as simple as the numbers suggest. Banking aggregates are improving every year. But the economy in Lebanon cannot be assumed to be sturdy just because the banking sector is jogging on and on. There are far too many risks and alarm signals on

Troubled and troublesome

Every stroll in the Eastern Mediterranean lands means walking in the presence of some historic reference. Transformed into politics and national ideologies, history has long been a tool of identity building. When looking at identity politics, these days may we squirm over the rise of new, presumably white identity politics in the United States or

The art of insurance

Brokers play an important role in highly functional insurance markets, providing clients with advice on risk and policy choices. They often help clients obtain covers, assist them with claims, and act as intermediaries between clients and insurers. But Lebanon’s insurance brokers have faced several difficult years in a row. To gauge the views of licensed

Taking risks

Adding to the misty picture of insurance industry prospects in Lebanon are uncertainties over the sector’s ability to exploit three major opportunities which are slowly taking shape inside and outside of Lebanon: energy, infrastructure, and reconstruction. The book of doubts on the purported three new miracles includes some question marks if the industry will be

Top