Banking & Finance articles

Balancing act

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

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:

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

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

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

Clean and clear

Mohammed Samir, the Egyptian head of P&G (Proctor and Gamble) Levant is sitting in the conference room of P&G’s offices in the prestigious Atrium building in the BCD. Next to him, above to his right is a massive bag of Ariel. On his left is Monica Mogabgab, P&G’s communications officer. P&G has built up a

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