Banking 2014: Looming taxes articles

Guarding a fragile future

Guarding a fragile future

Guarding a fragile future

It could have been a very boring report. In the big picture of Lebanese banking, the classic performance parameters are rather well behaved this year. Assets of commercial banks stood at $166.5 billion at the end of March according to Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank — up by $1.68 billion from the end

A user withdraws money from the Iraqi Warka Bank ATM (automatic teller machine) in Ghelan Square in central Baghdad on August 18, 2008. This machine, one of the few working in the Iraqi capital, falls in the middle of a street market where dozens use it every day.

Banking on the future of Iraq

Lebanese banks have enjoyed a long history of Iraqi businessmen coming to the country and banking here, or so boasts Makram Sader, secretary general of the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL). Now it is the banks that are taking their businesses to Iraq. But while the banks see a lot of promise in the

Fiscal flood

People may like to think otherwise, but the majority of catastrophes throw very visible shadows ahead. For example, most floods can be foretold by analyzing the human impact on terrain and studying long-term weather patterns. Prudent preparations can be made to help avert the worst outcomes. In 2016, Lebanon will face a rising tide of

Minding the moneylenders

Each year the observers and analysts of Lebanon’s banking performance eagerly await the publication of Bilanbanques, a wholly numbers-driven compendium of data and performance ratios on the banking sector produced by Bankdata Financial Services. Executive sat down for an interview with Dany Baz, Bankdata’s general manager, to enhance our understanding of the latest developments in

Tarek Khalife, Chairman at Credit Bank Lebanon

A Lebanese lender’s philosophy

Creditbank Chair Tarek Khalife explains his views on banking and the roots of his strategy to prioritize lending to the private sector. Last week, Executive published a longer piece about Creditbank.   The impression from our conversation on Creditbank is that you neither aim to be the richest banker in town nor are angling for the biggest

The Spinneys store located in Jnah in the 1970s

The real bad guys

When Lebanon was on its descent into civil war in 1975, some militia bosses sicced the ‘poor’ upon the ‘rich’, telling their followers to loot the Spinneys store in Ramlet el-Baida. I remember watching the riot from our balcony — the first to drive up to the deserted store were the warlords and their top

Ambassadors of Citi

International banks have been leaving the Lebanese market or selling off some of their operations. Last year, HSBC reported that they were to discontinue any sale of their investment and wealth management products in Lebanon as part of their global strategy to exit their less profitable branches. Similarly, the recent bidding process between local banks

Size does matter

Freddie Baz is a shareholder and board member of Istanbul-based Odeabank. He is also the chief financial officer of Audi Group, Odea’s parent. Most importantly, he is the personification of strategy at Lebanon’s largest banking group. Executive asked him what Audi Group has on its mind.      You have told us that Odeabank has achieved

Banks playing mind games on consumers

Mind games

It seems like a no brainer at first: Use your bank card for your purchases and you will eventually receive a free iPhone, a trip to Europe or, perhaps best of all, you will get your hard-earned cash back. Without studying the fine print, consumers rush to rack up points on their cards, pushing themselves