Business articles

Pressure mounts on Syria

Pressure mounts on Syria

Israel’s surprise attack on Syria shattered nearly 30 years of calm between the two countries, since the guns fell silent after a negotiated truce following the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Despite this, the “situation” between Syria and Israel has been one of a conflict under control. However, Damascus does periodically pop up on Washington’s political

Banking on transparency

Lebanon’s ranking in the 2003 Corruption Perception Index of international watchdog organization, Transparency International (TI) was poor. Receiving a rating of 3.0 on a scale ranging from 0 (totally rotten) to 10 (impeccably clean), Lebanon ranked 78th for perceived levels of corruption in 133 countries. However, it did rank significantly higher than the dirty dozen

Revamp!

Khalil Daoud, the new chairman and managing director of LibanPost, has set aside a small patch of land outside the company’s headquarters, next to Beirut Airport. “It’s for the employees, so they can grow cucumbers and tomatoes.” he explained. “But they don’t care.” The failed horticultural experiment illustrates how difficult it is to spawn a

Driving costs

Driving your car in Lebanon has never been so expensive. Neither has the government swallowed a more substantive share of the transportation budget from private households. Since the introduction of value-added tax in February 2002, the government’s revenue participation has reached and exceeded 50% on the amount a consumer spends on the purchase of a

Long road ahead

We are living in a brave new auto world. Still fairly early into the automobile’s second century, fuel economy and safety features of modern cars have reached levels that make automotive technology appear close to the point of quasi-perfection, where further improvements, short of reinventing the wheel, seem hardly worth the additional effort. A look

Ticket to ride

As weak demand in the Lebanese car market has taken its toll on dealer profitability, new opportunities emerged through several automotive brands that had been under-represented in Lebanon, or are new to the country. To address niches, distributors played their strengths, and some opted to mobilize synergies that they might not otherwise have utilized. In

End of a salesman

The story of Wael Hafez, the 21-year-old car dealer who fled Lebanon with reported debts of around $20 million, is a supreme HISTOIRE DE NOS TEMPS. Not only is it a story of personal greed, it also offers an insight into how the “used” luxury car market has become a magnet for those who seek

Q&A: Samir Homsi

The Automobile Importers Association teams up all local car agents who hold distributor contracts with international auto manufacturers. Avidly working to represent the interests of these primary agents, the AIA emphasizes a unified presentation of official importer concerns to the media and Lebanese public. EXECUTIVE talked to the president of the AIA, Samir Homzi. E:

Q&A : Pierre Achkar

E: How would you describe Lebanon’s summer in terms of tourists? PA: If summer means July and August, then summer was excellent for Beirut. Like last year, it was also good for the regions of Jounieh, Broummana and Bhamdoun. Our aim, however, is to extend the summer season from April to October, as in the

Advertising woes

For the first time since 1992, IPSOS STAT, which monitors media advertising expenditures in Lebanon, reported a decrease during the first semester of 2003. Previous reports had reflected growth even when the actual market was in decline. In fact, total gross media advertising expenditures in Lebanon declined from $105 million in 1998 to $85 million

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