Banking & Finance articles

The wedding planners

The wedding planners

This year, roughly 1,000 couples, spending between $25,000 and $35,000 each, retained the services of wedding planners, those hardy souls who organize, advise, coordinate and offer a shoulder to cry on. Essentially an American import, wedding planning has evolved from a few scattered operators into a lucrative $7 million niche sector, serviced by a dozen

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

The tortoise and the hare

After a two-year hiatus, Admic, the $100 million retailer that brought us BHV and Monoprix, is making its next move. This month sees the opening of a third 2,250m2 Monoprix in Zouk, while in November, Monoprix number four, with 3,600m2, will open its doors for business in Hazmieh’s Baabda Plaza. But why the wait, especially

Bush’s flawed Middle East manifesto

Last month, Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s national security advisor, compared the present post-Iraq war situation in the Middle East to post World War II Europe. “America,” wrote Rice in her August 7 editorial published in the Washington Post, “committed itself to the long-term transformation of Europe.” She goes on to say: “…our policymakers set out to

Out of reach

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) stands undisputed as the sector with the greatest importance for any country seeking to position itself at the forefront of the “knowledge” economy. Banking and education are key, but manufacturing automation, health care, hospitality, logistics, media and all other advanced services industries depend on ICT. Modern government and public sector

The road to Cancun

Lebanon will be present in Cancun, Mexico for the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in early September as an observer, putting aside the empty chair position adopted in Doha in 2001 and reflecting the country’s commitment to accede to the WTO. Following two negotiation rounds – the first was in October 2002 and the second

Survival of the fittest

If Nasdaq trends and international industry surveys can be believed, ICT is not only returning to a growth cycle more moderate than the last spurt that ended in 2000/2001, but is also more sustainable. As happened with the ICT industry worldwide, Lebanon’s information economy also felt struck by the bursting of the e-bubble and was

Promising performances

The rather tired theory that the banking sector is one of the sectors most likely to spur an economic upturn was given a boost by the promising performance of leading Lebanese banks over the past six months. The major turning point for both the Lebanese economy in general and the banking sector in particular was

Q&A: Yassine Dogmoch

E: Senator Dogmoch, your group has recently stepped up its local investments. How do you evaluate the investment climate in Lebanon? YD: I believe every investor has to see the glass as half full. The Dogmoch Group of companies has a presence in all Arab countries, with activities in different sectors, be it industry, trade,

Anatomy of an ad campaign: MEA

The Client No doubt about it – Middle East Airlines has had a rough time of it over the last 25 years. Two years ago, the trading value of the Lebanese national carrier was, in the succinct summation of chairman Mohammad El-Hout, (as quoted on the Skytrax news website): “Nil.” Then came September 11 and

Top