Banking & Finance articles

Banking on transparency

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

Long road ahead

We are living in a brave new auto world. Still fairly early into the automobile’s second century, fuel economy and safety features of modern cars have reached levels that make automotive technology appear close to the point of quasi-perfection, where further improvements, short of reinventing the wheel, seem hardly worth the additional effort. A look

Q&A: Rose Martinelli

E: When you say you are looking for the best, what defines ‘the best’? RM: A quality that I especially like to see it is the passion to make an impact on the world that goes beyond making individual gains. It begins with developing the professional side and the personal side and then reaching out

Ticket to ride

As weak demand in the Lebanese car market has taken its toll on dealer profitability, new opportunities emerged through several automotive brands that had been under-represented in Lebanon, or are new to the country. To address niches, distributors played their strengths, and some opted to mobilize synergies that they might not otherwise have utilized. In

End of a salesman

The story of Wael Hafez, the 21-year-old car dealer who fled Lebanon with reported debts of around $20 million, is a supreme HISTOIRE DE NOS TEMPS. Not only is it a story of personal greed, it also offers an insight into how the “used” luxury car market has become a magnet for those who seek

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

So just how much trouble is Bush in?

Events in the Middle East are not exactly turning out the way President George W. Bush would have liked, and this is particularly bad with an election year just around the corner. The situation in Iraq is not progressing nearly as fast or as successfully as was initially hoped for. Rather, resistance to the continued

Corruption’s hefty price tag

In the academic analysis of economics, corruption is a clear and present danger. “Efficient allocation of resources is the key to the capitalist system,” said Karim Salameh, managing director at Saradar Investment House and member of a new generation of Lebanese economists. “In the textbook answer, corruption cripples because it diverts resources away from their

It’s all in the name

Did it ever occur to you that your email address could be presenting you in a bad light? Last year, 31 million emails were sent each day. According to the International Data Corporation, by 2006, this number is expected to reach 60 billion, while the number of worldwide email addresses is expected to increase from

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