Special Report articles

Streaming hits big in the Middle East

Streaming hits big in the Middle East

It’s a sunny afternoon in Beirut and you’re sitting in a café, waiting for a friend who is running fashionably late as usual, but it doesn’t bother you because now you have time to catch the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory on your smartphone. This is the attraction of video on demand (VOD):

In conversation with Freddie Baz of Bank Audi

In May 2016, rumors circulated that the largest banking group in Lebanon, Audi, had engaged in an exercise of tinkering with the possibility of relocating its corporate holding to a foreign jurisdiction. More tangibly, the bank released its results for the first quarter in 2016, showing lower assets and deposits when compared with the end

Dissecting the numbers

Although 2015 was a trying year for the Lebanese economy and tested many economic players beyond what they experienced in the already challenging year of 2014, the results of Lebanese banks were remarkably stable. It is notable that the consolidated market shares of alpha and beta banks maintained high concentration on the domestic side. Their

Lebanese banks comply with US Hezbollah Act

The introduction to this interview has been updated in response to the June 12 bombing of the Blom Bank headquarter branch in the Verdun district of Beirut. The original introduction began by noting the ire of Hezbollah party leaders in their reaction to the central bank’s early May decision (circular 137) ordering local banks to

Updates on Lebanon’s banking sector

Executive sat with the governor of Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, Riad Salameh, for updates on the banking sector, the results of the central bank’s monetary policy, the stimulus of the knowledge economy – known as Circular 331 – and the response to latest foreign initiatives, namely compliance with the United States’ Hezbollah

Compelled to comply

“Should I be worried?” wondered one Beirut Souks restaurant owner. During a lunch at the local establishment the restaurateur passed by the table to inquire about the meal and service, casually mentioning concern over an American law – one targeting Hezbollah’s alleged money laundering through financial institutions worldwide. Local business owners outside the banking industry

No stone unturned

When M Media’s Chairman Eli Khoury described the recent success of Bil Nesbeh La Bokra Chou? (What About Tomorrow?) as “phenomenal”, he was right, from the perspective of the Lebanese market. With gross ticket sales of more than $1.3 million in local theaters, according to online reporting service Box Office Mojo, it is the highest

Yes we Cannes

In mid-May there was a temporary mass migration to the south of France as film professionals around the globe rushed to attend one of the year’s most prestigious international film festivals. When Executive spoke with a number of Lebanese film industry stakeholders last month, the excitement in the air was palpable. But it wasn’t the

Back to banking for the future

Lebanon without banks. That is far more difficult to envision than Mount Sannine without snow or the coast line without illegal buildings and the hills without litter. Asking some Lebanese economists if they can imagine the country without banks is like asking a king salmon if it can live without water. “It is true that

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