Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Q&A: Tameem Jad

Q&A: Tameem Jad

Bank Al Baraka Lebanon has a new management and new dynamics. The bank, which has five branches here and operates according to Islamic banking principles, is part of the Dalla Al Baraka Group, whose principal shareholder is billionaire Saudi financier, Sheikh Salah Kamel. The group includes banks and asset management operations in the Middle East.

Doom and gloom

Views on Lebanon’s economic perspectives have tended throughout the post-war period to concentrate on macroeconomic and fiscal issues. As a result of the worsening fiscal situation, socioeconomic needs in the last few years became overshadowed to a worrying degree by concerns over the national debt and its servicing. The state’s ongoing and exasperating procrastination in

Beating the odds

Optimism has for years been a prominent feature of Lebanese banking, a central nerve embedded into the firm spine of conservatism that upholds the Lebanese banking and finance industries. The country’s banks all have reasons to ooze optimism, given the sector’s overwhelming importance in the national economy and their performance record of deposit security over

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

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.

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

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