Finance articles

Toward a national strategy

Financial literacy is a hot global policy potato that emerged as the flavor of the month for October 2016, according to the taste buds of the Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) and a publication by the Association of Banks (ABL) in Lebanon. “Financial literacy, financial capability and consumer protection have been in focus

Great potential in need of an edge

“Why is there so much more research done on baldness than on malaria? Because rich people go bald, and they don’t die of malaria.” William H. Gates III There were times when homegrown private banking in Lebanon looked like a short-distance runner trailing behind the field in a long-distance race. A decade ago, whenever Executive would

Crash course on markets

It was as if the in-laws had decided on New Year’s Eve that it would be fun to come for an unannounced visit. Volatility. It is part of the family experience in any investment strategy and, like the parents-in-law, volatility is never far away but the average investor feels so much more comfortable when it

Pearls of economic wisdom

In good times and in bad ones, leading wealth management institutions and Lebanese families and individuals are connected via a bond of mutual interests in profits and wealth preservation. Among the torchbearers of this bond are the top-rated economists of Swiss banks who come to visit Lebanon with clockwork regularity. Usually, they bear at least

No time to cry wolf

In the Lebanese banking sector’s cherished game of claiming the deposit throne, month-on-month drops of private sector deposits are usually reserved for the January statistics, in what has become known as the annual correction of window dressing at the end of the business year. That is why, when the relevant central bank data is pulled

Private equity and the GCC

Private equity investment in the GCC appears to be experiencing a “rebirth”. This is a very positive development as it may be paving the way for less oil dependency and an innovative business environment. The private equity industry in the GCC has had a shorter life cycle than other markets and has faced alternating fortunes

The beginning of a new era for small businesses?

In today’s strong business environment, almost everyone is familiar with some business fundamentals such as accounting or marketing, or at the very least understands some basic information technology (IT) skills. Knowledge, Lebanon’s most important resource, has changed society’s needs as well as the structure and purpose of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It has led

Stock exchange for beginners

Entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies can either raise funds through debt or equity, the latter consisting of the entrepreneur foregoing some ownership of the company and the investor assuming the risk of the business going bankrupt. Unlike a loan, the entrepreneur doesn’t repay the investor with interest. More secure and more

Take that exit

When investors look for an exit they don’t want to be shown the door. They want to see the cash consideration that rewards them for their risk – and they want to look good in the process; good for having created employment, good for respecting the environment, good for having contributed to economic growth, and

A legacy of proper supervision

Whilst the Lebanese insurance sector is quietly perched on the edge of new opportunities, such as insuring a yet-to-be-established oil industry, it currently faces a severe destabilization risk. The lack of a commissioner has disrupted the key and evolving process of supervision, and there may be concerns over who will fill the position and how.

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