Economics & Policy articles

Lebanese bonds: stable but vulnerable

As the world markets, mature and emerging, went through the turbulent transition from low rates by the Federal Reserve to “a measured and consistent rise,” most bond markets suffered. In fact all bond markets suffered. The reverberations of each pronouncement by Federal Reserves chieftain, Alan Greenspan, are felt all over, in commodities, equities, but most

Reviving capital markets

Back in the mid 1990s, Lebanon showed a promising entry into the world of capital markets, which coincided with the significant boom of emerging markets during that period. The first Eurobond in US dollars issued by an Arab state was the 1994 $400 million Eurobond issue by the Lebanese Republic, which also became “Eurobond deal

Slippery Business

Declining domestic consumption and an inability to compete on the international volume market are forcing Lebanon’s olive oil producers to go niche. It’s a nice idea (selling as it does, Lebanon’s ancient olive-oil-producing heritage and a quality attributable to the country’s soil, climate and general environment), but for the $250 million olive oil sector, which

Crisis management at the central bank

For more than a decade, Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, and the Banking Control Commission (BCC), an independent administrative body established at the BDL in 1967 to supervise banks, have maintained a stable banking and financial system. Both have provided the banking sector with strong support, set up a good regulatory environment to

Banks with buying power

Last month’s issue of EXECUTIVE profiled the 10 mostly likely medium and small Lebanese banks to be acquired or merged. As we now seek to identify the potential acquirers, we shift our spotlight towards the banks financially capable and strategically oriented to undertake M&A activities on the buy-side of the table. Due to the concentration

Take a hike

Crude oil and its derivatives epitomize the notion that besides matching bids and offers, there often lies in the background a multitude of factors, which not only affect prices but also, and more importantly, the perception about supply, capacity, consumption and relative tightness/availability of the product. The movements in crude oil have been, to a

Pushing for consolidation

The Banque du Liban (BDL), through its Banking Control Commission (BCC) has so far done a good job in ensuring that the Lebanese banking sector remains stable and sound, proving to be an able, proactive regulator that has come to the rescue and support of the banking sector whenever needed. For the record, the BCC’s

Audi merger sets the stage

The merger of Banque Audi and Banque Saradar was the best thing to happen to the Lebanese banking sector for many years and the biggest merger/acquisition since the Byblos-Banque Beyrouth pour le Commerce and Bank of Beirut-Beirut Riyad Bank deals in 1995 and 2001, respectively. Although the banking sector has been consolidating for the last

Safe from harm?

Is Lebanon a genuine emerging economy? If so, how has the country been able to escape unscathed through the domino-like collapse of new entrants into the global financial architecture. After the implosion of several Asian “tiger” economies and the more recent Russian debt crisis, it seemed that the Lebanese bubble would burst. The common reflections

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