Author Archives: Faysal Badran

Buying to the sound of cannons

Buying to the sound of cannons

Reading Time: 4 minutes Perhaps the most crucial elements of any capital market, especially an emerging market, are confidence and liquidity. During the devastating days of the conflict between Hizbullah and Israel, both took direct hits. Shortly after the start of the conflict, the Beirut Stock Exchange decided to close. This closure, though guided by pure reasoning was a

Lebanon must heed world bank warnings

Reading Time: 4 minutes While some of the indications of summer tourist activity in Lebanon are encouraging, we must never forget that our economy is structurally weak. The tourist season this summer could well be a stellar one, with some estimates reaching 1.6 million visitors. This is welcome news in view of the political quagmire and overall insecurity plaguing

Crude Reality

Reading Time: 2 minutes As tensions between Iran and the US have subsided somewhat, it may be time to revisit the crude oil market that monopolized so many headlines in recent weeks. While we rejected outright the claim that $100-a-barrel oil was around the corner, the geopolitical risk pushed oil briefly up to the mid-70s per barrel. Things have

Georges Frem

Reading Time: 3 minutes George Frem, who passed away in May after a valiant battle with illness, will be remembered as an astute businessman, a pioneering Lebanese industrialist, a philanthropist, and a political idealist. Many have written about the business empire he created, but few have talked about the man behind it. It is very difficult for me to

Not so precious Metal

Reading Time: 4 minutes There is almost unanimity on the precious metals among market participants. Almost every analyst, every brokerage house, and all speculative type players have their eyes glued to gold and silver. There has also been a drag effect from other markets, such as oil and copper, and since historically, they tend to move in tandem, the

Bursting bubbles in the gulf

Reading Time: 5 minutes We have mentioned over the last six months, that the Gulf markets, and in particular the Saudi stock market had gotten ahead of itself. The metrics we used were always simple to understand: the market capitalization had surpassed the national productive economy by a measurable distance. In fact, at its peak in February of this

Alain Greenspan: Genius or Liability

Reading Time: 4 minutes Alan Greenspan became something of a cult figure in the financial markets during his reign as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, both in the financial markets and in the media. As central banker of the largest economic powerhouse, his every move and utterance were scrutinized as markets boomed and reeled, often based on his speeches

Lebanon’s Fragile Strength

Reading Time: 4 minutes As we keep hammering in many articles, the end game for a country like Lebanon is to attract and keep foreign investors. The thinking goes that foreign investment in the private sector will serve to offset the debt-laden public sector and help fuel economic growth. As eloquently put by our economics minister, economic growth needs

Coming out on top

Reading Time: 5 minutes News does not move the markets; perceptions move the markets. Nowhere has this axiom been truer than in the Lebanese financial markets in this intense year of 2005. The amount of negative vibes emanating from the country this year would have lead many linear thinking people to think that the year was headed for a

What Lebanon can Learn from the Turkish Experience

Reading Time: 6 minutes The end game for developing countries, in this day and age, is the ability to attract and maintain capital investment. The catalyst to this inflow is, broadly speaking, a mix of infrastructure rehabilitation and reform. There are numerous trajectories in the developed world, but in many instances reform is slow, and the corollary of sustainable