Author Archives: Executive Staff

Getting the economy back on track

Getting the economy back on track

Mira Merhi Senior economist, ministry of economy and trade E Which sectors of the economy were most affected by the 2005 crisis? How is trade faring, given current relations with Syria? What are the government’s most immediate economic recovery plans? How does it plan to create growth? In 2005, the Lebanese economy witnessed a slowdown

Getting tourism off the ground

Joumana Azzi Branch manager at Wild Discovery Travel & Tourism E How many Lebanese are taking holidays abroad on an annual basis and how has this figure evolved over the last few years? What characterizes the outbound Lebanese tourist market? Is the trend of package tours catching on? While we do not have exact figures

The Gulf economies come of Age

It’s been a historic year for the region. Some are calling it the oil boom of the new millennium, others are recognizing it as the coming of age of the modern Arab economy, but the reality remains that the growth witnessed across all sectors in the Arab world in 2005, was nothing short of phenomenal.

Buildimg up the financial markets

Jean Riachi Chairman, Financial Funds Advisers E How could UN sanctions on Syria affect Lebanon’s finance sector? What can we expect from Syria in the long term, after possible regime change or crisis resolution? I don’t think UN sanctions on Syria would affect Lebanon’s finance sector. I don’t see how they could affect it. They

Ibrahim Muhanna, Chairman, I.E Muhanna group

Ibrahim Muhanna is the chairman of the i.e. Muhanna Group, a leading actuarial firm in the region and publisher of specialized financial strength ratings on Middle Eastern insurance companies. His company also produced the calculations used in devising a program for a Lebanese pension scheme. Executive talked to Muhanna about the situation in the regional

What went wrong at investcom’s IPO?

Much anticipation surrounded the launch of the IPO of Investcom Holdings in the Middle East. While the Lebanese company did not have any major assets in the GCC or the Levant, it benefited from a high profile due to the political heritage of its main shareholders, as well as its presence at a number of

Tarek Ayntrazi

In August 2005, Tarek Ayntrazi, the Starcom Group’s Middle East chief executive, left the media-buying arm of Leo Burnett after 15 years with the company, to head up Future TV (FTV), taking over from Nadim Munla, now an economic advisor within the Future Movement. Not only was the new position a challenge in the sense

Sami Haddad

Following an exceptionally tortuous government formation process, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora unveiled a 24-member cabinet on July 19. Among the new faces on the political scene was Sami Haddad, brought in from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the World Bank’s private sector arm – to head the ministry of economy and trade. Armed with

Fast Track to Growth

Until the assassination of Mr. Hariri and the subsequent uncertainty, Lebanon had, for the previous 18 months, enjoyed relatively robust economic activity, which allowed for the replenishment of reserves, better GDP growth in 2004, vigorous financial sector liquidity, and, through swaps, more efficient management of the country’s debt stock, which in turn allowed for the

Q & A: Fouad Siniora – Forward thinking

Former finance minister Fouad Siniora has been involved in the shaping of the country’s economic policies for the past 12 years as cabinet member and key right hand man of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Although he moved to the top post at Hariri-affiliated Banque Méditerranée at the beginning of 2005, from the day

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