Banking & Finance articles

Long road ahead

Long road ahead

We are living in a brave new auto world. Still fairly early into the automobile’s second century, fuel economy and safety features of modern cars have reached levels that make automotive technology appear close to the point of quasi-perfection, where further improvements, short of reinventing the wheel, seem hardly worth the additional effort. A look

Ticket to ride

As weak demand in the Lebanese car market has taken its toll on dealer profitability, new opportunities emerged through several automotive brands that had been under-represented in Lebanon, or are new to the country. To address niches, distributors played their strengths, and some opted to mobilize synergies that they might not otherwise have utilized. In

End of a salesman

The story of Wael Hafez, the 21-year-old car dealer who fled Lebanon with reported debts of around $20 million, is a supreme HISTOIRE DE NOS TEMPS. Not only is it a story of personal greed, it also offers an insight into how the “used” luxury car market has become a magnet for those who seek

Biting the bullet

“No serious newspaper will survive in Iraq today unless the security situation improves. Advertisers aren’t interested. Locals can’t afford to spend much on a newspaper. As a newspaper owner, you’re in trouble,” said Mark Gordon-James, 25, the former finance director of the BAGHDAD BULLETIN, the English language newspaper that has gone belly-up. Established by a

Q&A : Pierre Achkar

E: How would you describe Lebanon’s summer in terms of tourists? PA: If summer means July and August, then summer was excellent for Beirut. Like last year, it was also good for the regions of Jounieh, Broummana and Bhamdoun. Our aim, however, is to extend the summer season from April to October, as in the

Advertising woes

For the first time since 1992, IPSOS STAT, which monitors media advertising expenditures in Lebanon, reported a decrease during the first semester of 2003. Previous reports had reflected growth even when the actual market was in decline. In fact, total gross media advertising expenditures in Lebanon declined from $105 million in 1998 to $85 million

Clean and clear

Mohammed Samir, the Egyptian head of P&G (Proctor and Gamble) Levant is sitting in the conference room of P&G’s offices in the prestigious Atrium building in the BCD. Next to him, above to his right is a massive bag of Ariel. On his left is Monica Mogabgab, P&G’s communications officer. P&G has built up a

The Italian Job

Lahoud summed it up better than most. Speaking to the cabinet during a discussion on the EDL file, the exasperated president turned to the ministers and raised his arms. “What do you expect me to say when you tell me that $3 billion has gone missing from EDL. I am speechless.” EDL is indeed in

Money back guarantee

In the first six months of 2003, over $1 million in VAT-refunds have been reimbursed to tourists and non-resident Lebanese. It is estimated that 15,000 tourists, roughly 1.5% of all foreign arrivals, took the time to put their purchases through the Global Refund tax-free shopping system, collecting an average of $66 from new tax-free shopping

Corruption’s hefty price tag

In the academic analysis of economics, corruption is a clear and present danger. “Efficient allocation of resources is the key to the capitalist system,” said Karim Salameh, managing director at Saradar Investment House and member of a new generation of Lebanese economists. “In the textbook answer, corruption cripples because it diverts resources away from their

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