Society articles

Turkey’s CA woes Reform needed

Turkey’s CA woes Reform needed

With the release of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF)’s report on the fourth and fifth review for Turkey’s standby agreement, the state of the country’s finances has come under fresh scrutiny from market observers, with ongoing concern over the size of the current account (CA) deficit. Strong economic growth coupled with high oil prices has

Lebanon’s rosy 2006 shattered by war and political killing

As recently as early November 2006, local and regional economic experts were projecting exponential growth across all sectors of Lebanon’s economy, including rapid recovery from the damages caused by the 34-day war between Hizbullah and Israel this summer. But given the assassination of Lebanon’s Minister of Industry, Pierre Gemayel, on the eve of National Day

Beirut’s banking sector healthy but challenges lie ahead

The Lebanese banking sector has survived and thrived through not one but two major shocks in two years: the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005 and the Israeli-Hizbullah war in the summer of 2006. A younger or less experienced banking sector would have collapsed under shocks like these, but the shrewdness of Lebanese bankers and

Beirut Stock Exchange under pressure to meet regional standards

The vision line of Lebanon’s capital markets on new horizons for 2007 is about as unrestricted as a peek across a Scottish Highland moor in a foggy night. The sights are potentially spectacular, but highly elusive. And that although things had been looking exceedingly good early on in 2006—with a Beirut Stock Exchange that finally

Lebanon’s industry leaders call for help but pleas fall on deaf ears

While the Lebanese industrialists’ chorus of demands going into 2007 has certainly grown louder following the July-August war, their wish-list has changed only marginally. As 2006 approached, local manufacturers were lamenting the country’s perennial instability and pleading for the government to compensate the sector for lost income following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik

Lebanon’s insurance industry survives war intact

Lebanon’s insurance companies passed through the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah without having to pay crippling amounts for war-related claims, because this type of coverage is not a usual purchase option. (In any country, a house caving in beneath the impact of a force majeure is not calculable, and ineligible for cover under a

Lebanon’s media has tough year but confident of turnaround

Last year, Lebanon’s media industry went on a proverbial rollercoaster ride far more thrilling and precarious than anything America’s major theme parks could possibly dream up. Next year looks to be equally action-packed, as the sector struggles to make up for $38.7 million in losses sustained during Israel’s month-long war on Lebanon, overcome low advertising

Killing Mr. Lebanon – New book on target

On that sunny February day in 2005 when they killed Rafik Hariri, Basil Fuleihan and 21 others outside the St. Georges hotel, I was due to have lunch at Le Vendôme at 1pm. However, that morning the venue was changed. Had it not, and being the punctual sort, I would have arrived in Ain Mreisseh

Samsung’s growth in Middle East – CE giant hopes to expand its brand

This September in Berlin, in his keynote address at IFA 2006, the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition, Samsung President and CEO Gee Sung Choi reviewed the tremendous success enjoyed by his company over the past few years and highlighted several exciting new developments on Samsung’s horizon. With 2005 parent company sales of $56.7 billion and

Running on Empty -Beirut‘s car market kaput

The Lebanese car market had its worse summer in decades thanks to the war and a two-month sea blockade, with the number of new registered cars dropping 81% in August compared to the same month last year. The sector is only slowly clawing its way back, with sales down 41% for September. With the economy

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