Finance articles

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

Battling debt

The Lebanese government’s successful efforts to put on hold the almost weekly auction of Lebanese Pound Treasury Bills some nine months ago is a positive development many. Local and international economists attributed the move to the substantial increase in liquidity levels pursuant to the Paris II donor conference held during the fall of 2002. The

Efficiency not mediocrity

In the first nine months of 2003, four main developments were observed: the unexpected rate of growth in bank’s deposits or in monetary aggregate M3, the sector’s participation in easing the state’s debt burden; the reduction of interest rates; the creation of a mechanism to review and settle non-performing loans. (I) Growth of M3 We

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,

High hopes

The adversity of the past three-year bear market in US equities has been steadily forgotten over the course of 2003, as we enjoy the present blessings of a stronger economy and a nine-month-long rally. Investors and speculators are now stressed with the question of how much longer the good times will last. The major worry

Falling flat

Attempting to put together a commentary on the state of the Arab capital markets has become increasingly difficult for fear of being too biased, or worse, too skeptical. But as the parades of often-eloquent speakers continue to elaborate on the development of stock and credit markets in the Arab world, it is safe to say

Balancing act

At the press conference in which he outlined the 2004 budget, minister of finance, Fouad Siniora, began by justifying why the 2003 budget was missed by such a sizeable margin. According to figures for the first nine months of 2003, the deficit stood at around 38%, compared to almost 40% for the same period last

Tough sell

Recent data suggests that commercial banks and financial institutions in Lebanon are increasingly shying away from corporate lending. In fact, most major banks remain wary of the Lebanese corporate environment, as they still attempt to mend their existing portfolios of corporate debt, to the extent of actually reducing the size of their portfolio of commercial

Top