Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Corporate conscience

Corporate conscience

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Last month, the United Nations and the World Bank released global performance reports on private sector immersion and country level achievements in the crucial areas of social responsibility and governance. The UN corporate citizenship initiative for joint efforts with the private sector business community goes by the name of Global Compact. According to the organization’s

Dubai and Halliburton hardly an ideal match, business is business

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When US oil services behemoth Halliburton said this springit was moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai, exudationof praises ensued at full throttle. Maestro developerMohammed Alabbar of Emaar grandeur for example recentlycited the move as proof that a global city is underconstruction in Dubai with no real estate bubble about toburst. Local and regional commentators from

Stormy weather ahead for BMed as potential investors circle

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The skies between the Levant and London got a little cloudier at the start of the year, as airline BMed admitted it had suffered such substantial losses in 2005 and 2006 that its main stakeholders refused to pump more cash into the operation. According to the Times of London, BMed reported profits of $10 million

Shifting trade winds Blowing Lebanon’s way

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Lebanese trade patterns are in for further changes in 2007, but it’s not armed conflict that will force alternative trade routes on the country’s many importing merchants and exporting manufacturers. Change will come because of world market realities. Overall, according to the numbers currently available from Lebanese customs, the nation’s exports last year developed handsomely

Turkey’s CA woes Reform needed

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With the release of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF)’s report on the fourth and fifth review for Turkey’s standby agreement, the state of the country’s finances has come under fresh scrutiny from market observers, with ongoing concern over the size of the current account (CA) deficit. Strong economic growth coupled with high oil prices has

We don’t suntrust you

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When the Bush administration passed the USA. Patriot Act after the multiple terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it very probably did not intend to punish the innocent alongside the guilty. However, a recent experience I had with my American bank, SunTrust, showed me that that goal has been, at best, imperfectly achieved. The Atlanta-based

Pipe Dream

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the Lebanese economy, trade houses and regional distribution ventures have long resided at the nexus of business success. And while at first it may look unassuming, the import and distribution of plumbing supplies, sanitary wares, heating equipment and tools is a fascinating part of this crucial but underreported economic activity. Georges Khoury & Co

BSE snapshots

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Solidere Listing date: September 30, 1996 Number of listed shares Class A 100,000,000 Class B 65,000,000 Opening price Solidere A (Ten to one stock split on 06/01/1997) $113.5 Solidere B (Ten to one stock split on 06/01/1997) $116 Market capitalization (as of 31/12/05, source BSE) Solidere A $1.8 billion Solidere B $1.2 billion Solidere was

The Case For BLC Bank

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Background Despite its new look logo and name, BLC Bank is one of Lebanon’s oldest banks, and also historically quite prestigious by domestic standards. Previously named Banque Libanaise pour le Commerce, BLC was founded by the Abou Jaoudeh family in the early 1950s. Prior to the Lebanese civil war, the bank was a major private

The hopes of insurers go up in smoke

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Insurance industry representatives in Lebanon recently acknowledged that they expect 2005 to end pretty much as a lost year for business, in line with the “no-growth” environment for GDP and overall economic performance. However, the detailed impacts on sector profits this year cannot be tallied for several more months – with the additional caveat that