Finance articles

The Case For BLC Bank

Background Despite its new look logo and name, BLC Bank is one of Lebanon’s oldest banks, and also historically quite prestigious by domestic standards. Previously named Banque Libanaise pour le Commerce, BLC was founded by the Abou Jaoudeh family in the early 1950s. Prior to the Lebanese civil war, the bank was a major private

Freddy Baz : Chief strategic advisor, Banque AUDI

E In the latest Banque Audi report, you state that Lebanon was a “no growth environment in 2005,” but that it was able to “avoid a recessionary trap.” How were we able to do this and what if any role did the banks play? What we wanted to highlight is that we are not in

Unlocking the potential of Banks

Dr. Shadi Karam Chairman and general manager, BLC Bank E BLC appears to be on the verge of being sold. What do other non-alpha Lebanese banks need to do to be more competitive and attractive to investors and buyers? You have to compensate for size with creativity. This is what we have done. It so

The Gulf economies come of Age

It’s been a historic year for the region. Some are calling it the oil boom of the new millennium, others are recognizing it as the coming of age of the modern Arab economy, but the reality remains that the growth witnessed across all sectors in the Arab world in 2005, was nothing short of phenomenal.

Hedging your bets

with many businesses across all sectors suffering from the fluctuation in the euro and watching their profitability erode, it is important to recap on hedging, the process via which businesses can lessen the impact of unexpected currency moves on their bottom line. Without delving into the complex types of hedging, simply put, here is how

Q&A: Semaan Bassil

E: Byblos Bank today is very active in addressing new markets. What are the most important developments and what are the reasons behind them? Three years ago, the bank set up a strategy to start focusing outside of Lebanon, because the economy of Lebanon is small and our bank is big compared to the size

No monkeying around on the markets

Financial markets despise uncertainty, but in Lebanon, these markets were served with large doses of uncertainty time and time again in 2004. Certainly, Lebanon’s geographical location did not help matters: worsening developments in Iraq, ongoing violence in the Palestinian territories, and the stand-off between Syria and the international community, all made markets twitchy. On the

Finance Voices – Where’s the regulation?

Ziad Maalouf: Senior Vice President of MENA Capital SAL E: Would the Lebanese financial industry benefit from a more stringent regulatory environment? Do you see any realistic opportunities for a more advanced regulatory framework that would contribute to greater investor confidence in 2005? The Lebanese financial sector is in a dismal state today. Investor confidence

Q&A: Jean Riachi

E: What is the core requirement for a financial company to be successful in Beirut? In general, for a financial company to be successful, it has to be focused on its lines of business and on its friends. When you are in Beirut, you need to compete with local competition but also with foreign competition.

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