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Getting the books back in order

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

A retrospective

It is understandable that Freddie Baz, the chief strategist of Lebanon’s largest bank, Bank Audi, presented a divergent view from the central bank’s narrative explaining the latter’s financial engineering (see story and infographic). Whereas the analysis picture drawn by Banque du Liban (BDL) focused on the very positive impacts of this quantitative easing measure, Baz

Lebanon’s economy weathers a tough 2016

If there is one resolution Lebanon can commit to this coming new year, it is making good on the opportunity for a fresh start, to restart government institutions and implement sound policies that will guide the country toward a more promising future. A sputtering Lebanese economy, exasperated by a disruption in regional trading due to

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