Banking & Finance articles

August rebound

August rebound

Lebanon’s traditional gush of summer season optimism has failed to shroud a painful reality – July was a bad month for the $1.5 billion-a-year tourism sector. Hotels, restaurants, and car rental agencies all acknowledged business was down significantly in July, compared to the same period last year. Industry insiders bemoaned, in particular, a relative paucity

FYI Briefs July

Less popular cruises? While 60 cruise ships dock at Beirut each summer only one, the Ausonia, takes on new passengers, and for three years now, Lebanese holidaymakers have signed up for the weeklong Greek island cruise, organized by the Cypriot company, Louis Cruise Lines. That was until this year, when prices went up by about

A hard choice

Viagra users in Lebanon will this month be presented with a choice: to continue using Viagra, whose impotence-combating effects last for a few hours, or to switch to Cialis, which lasts for a whopping 36. Cialis, a new anti-impotence drug produced by biotech firm Icos and marketed by US pharmaceutics powerhouse Eli Lilly

Forgotten festival?

Shopping month is upon us again. But this year it has come almost as a surprise. In mid-January there had still been no pre-festival publicity.

Biting the bullet

“No serious newspaper will survive in Iraq today unless the security situation improves. Advertisers aren’t interested. Locals can’t afford to spend much on a newspaper. As a newspaper owner, you’re in trouble,” said Mark Gordon-James, 25, the former finance director of the BAGHDAD BULLETIN, the English language newspaper that has gone belly-up. Established by a

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

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

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