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Dipping into digital waters

Dipping into digital waters

When four officers of two highly respected Lebanese military institutions—the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces—in mid-January took their chairs on a panel at the American University of Beirut (AUB) to participate in what the university advertised as its first Cyber Security Day, the assembled students, professors from various academic institutions, and guests, did

Lebanon faces a lot of big IFs in 2019

Since 2011, Lebanon’s economy has been exhibiting recessionary symptoms. Economic growth slowed from 8 percent in 2010 to 0.6 percent in 2017, as measured by the country’s public bean counter, the Central Administration of Statistics. For 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected GDP growth at just 1 percent. At the time of this writing,

Five cheers for stability

A good starting point for reviewing the Lebanese banking sector at the end of 2017 to study a document that was published early in the year and is referred to in financial High Valyrian as a FSAP. For common folks, this stands for Financial Sector Assessment Program. A FSAP is undertaken by the institutions missing

Where do we go now?

At the end of 2017, Lebanon does not know exactly where its economy stands because there is a lack of publicly available quantifiable data to suggest what direction Lebanon is headed in the coming year and beyond. We know that the economy is in a bad way, thanks to a few high-level indicators like stagnant

Getting the books back in order

On paper, the Lebanese state should function. The constitution—frequently ignored as it may be—envisions a rational budgetary process that allows for planning, checks and balances among different branches of government, and an annual allocation of resources based on anticipated needs. In simple terms, every year the government should ask Parliament for the legal authority to

Sharing the risks

A new law passed this summer could help facilitate sorely needed investment to fix the country’s infrastructure. The legislation, a framework for public-private partnerships (PPP), puts into law new options for sharing risks between companies and the government when investing in, building, and operating new public works. Ziad Hayek, secretary general of the Higher Council

Into the blue

Potential is the most important word to keep in mind when thinking about a future Lebanese oil and gas industry. In November (provided there’s a functioning government at the time), the country is scheduled to begin offshore exploration, which could provide a revenue stream flowing decades into the future and kickstart a local industry services

Tax squeeze

Lebanon is closer to ratifying a national budget than it has been in recent memory. For the past 12 years, the country has not passed a budget into law. In recent years the roadblock has been, at least publicly, a salary increase for certain public sector workers. The debate is taking place in a fiscal

Vital and seeking vibrancy

The numbers for overall premiums growth, penetration and density in the Lebanese insurance market in 2017 may not bring huge surprises. In 2016 the sector delivered 3 percent nominal growth in gross premiums, from $1.52 billion in 2015 to $1.56 billion, according to the latest quarterly report of the Association of Insurance Companies of Lebanon

The battle between good and evil goes virtual

The serpent’s tale is a powerful narrative that has captured man’s attention over millennia. The contemporary version of the story goes something like this: the digital garden at first was created as a lush world filled with smart gadgets, useful computer programs, fun games, social networks and great business opportunities. People were delighted with these

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