Author Archives: Livia Murray

The brave new world of banking

The brave new world of banking

Reading Time: 8 minutes Banking is on the move. Today, the sector has turned into something that couldn’t have been pictured some 20 to 30 years ago. New regulatory frameworks such as Basel III have placed more pressure on banks to regulate and mitigate risks. Their internal structures have been reshuffled by creating whole new teams and compliance departments,

The banking turnover

Reading Time: 7 minutes What BankMed is to the Hariris, BLOM Bank to the Azharis, BLC and SGBL to the different lines of Sehnaouis, Bank Audi to the Audis and Creditbank to the Khalifes is perhaps not as clear as a bell when it comes to determining ownership percentages to the decimal. The shareholdings become particularly blurred when banks are

Central anchor

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the staid world of central bankers, changes are often slow and measured. That is not the case in 2015. In the first four months of the year, the euro slid 10 percent against the dollar. In a single day in January, the euro fell 30 percent against the Swiss franc after Swiss authorities ended

Master muddler

Reading Time: 6 minutes Abdel Moneim Youssef is not your average public servant. If there is one compelling impression from meeting him in person, it is that there is much more to him than meets the eye. In this sense, his office at the Ministry of Telecommunications is revealingly unrevealing: large but functional, not overtly more guarded than the

Flipping the switch

Reading Time: 5 minutes Boosting Lebanon’s internet speeds — as well as its GDP — would be surprisingly simple. The country has a new, multi million dollar fiber optic network that forms a backbone for data traffic. It is laying idle, however, because a few switches needed to pass information have not been flipped. That is, the fiber optic

All grown up

Reading Time: 5 minutes Some are starting to see it. As the world moves to the web and mobile, leaders of industry are beginning to see changes happening from their vantage points at the top of the chain of command. They also see threats to their positions. The term ‘burning platform’ refers to the idea that traditional industries can’t

Aiming for alpha

Reading Time: 7 minutes For many years Lebanon’s national tree, Cedrus libani, has been designated a beleaguered species whose numbers are lower than they should be. No such danger has ever faced our country’s premium financial species: the Lebanese bank. If there was any existential problem that our banks may have faced since national independence, it was overpopulation —

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Reading Time: 7 minutes In every corporate narrative, some dates are noted as remarkable, while others less so. For the founders of Shahiya, a digital portal for Lebanese culinary secrets and cooking instructions, January 28, 2015 is one such memorable date. It is the day when NetSila, the holding company that owns the five year young Shahiya recipe site,

Big fish, small pond

Reading Time: 8 minutes Sitting in a room where two rotating cylinder lenses track you and project a blown-up high definition image of you to your colleague sitting in Jordan, and vice versa, may be disconcerting for any number of reasons, but for Hani Raad, general manager for the Levant region at networking giant Cisco, it is a time