Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Q&A: Riad Salameh

Q&A: Riad Salameh

Elected as banker of the year by EUROMONEY magazine, Riad Salame, govenor of the central bank, has been a guarantor for the authenticity of Lebanon’s monetary policy of safeguarding currency stability and relying on market forces. EXECUTIVE asked Mr. Salame about the state of the banking and financial sectors at the end of the year,

Treading water

By all signs and measures, insurance in Lebanon remains on the slow burner. Business developments and preliminary expected results for 2003 – even a somewhat conclusive performance evaluation based on unaudited results is not possible before next April because far too few members of this sector provide half-year or third-quarter reports – indicate no significant

Hi, and bye

In July and August, a new resolutely apolitical lifestyle magazine called Hi hit the Lebanese newsstands. Available only in Arabic, the magazine featured stories on singers, student life, online matchmaking and other matters that the publishers hoped would appeal to youth in the Middle East. What made this product noteworthy was not so much its

Shopping as easy as ABC

Two major retail clusters are evolving in metropolitan Beirut just in time for the shopping season. Spinneys last month inaugurated its first hypermarket in Jnah, while the ABC Mall in Achrafieh is being readied for its scheduled grand opening with top political figures on November 29, and will start to admit shoppers early this month.

A seasonal ‘flop’?

Despite the usual upbeat suggestions that tourism is on the up and up in Lebanon, the Arab World Trade and Tourism Exchange (AWTTE), held at the BIEL exhibition center from 16 to 19 September, was, in the words of one hotel marketing director who participated,

Talking in public

The ministry of telecommunications and its network-operating subsidiary, Ogero, have installed the first wave of public payphones in Lebanon, with apparent success. The rollout began in late 2003 with payphones at Beirut airport and in the capital. According to ministry figures, installation shall continue until 4,000 public phones are available nationwide. The total project cost

Regional perspective

ARAB COUNTRIES: Insurance Density and Insurance Penetration (SOURCE: Muhanna Foundation) This could be a very opportune time to take a good long look at the Middle Eastern insurance industry, where far-reaching changes are expected region-wide. On the static side of how things are, stand the numbers on territory, population and economic performance, in relation to

Urban planning nightmares

Lebanese experts on urban planning and zoning contend that this communal discipline of real estate management exists as nothing more than a quasi-reality here. Sights from nearly every nook and cranny of the country corroborate the judgment. From north to south, communities overflow with building structures that defy common sense, communal planning and esthetics.

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