Banking & Finance articles

Biting the bullet

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

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

Q&A: Samir Homsi

The Automobile Importers Association teams up all local car agents who hold distributor contracts with international auto manufacturers. Avidly working to represent the interests of these primary agents, the AIA emphasizes a unified presentation of official importer concerns to the media and Lebanese public. EXECUTIVE talked to the president of the AIA, Samir Homzi. E:

Balancing act

At the press conference in which he outlined the 2004 budget, minister of finance, Fouad Siniora, began by justifying why the 2003 budget was missed by such a sizeable margin. According to figures for the first nine months of 2003, the deficit stood at around 38%, compared to almost 40% for the same period last

From the eye of the storm

On September 30, Ayoub Humayed met with Executive for a political reality check on EDL, during which he answered questions on recent accusations leveled at EDL over corruption and criminal waste of public funds. In doing so, minister Humayed provided Executive with much anticipated answers on the issues of graft and transparency at EDL. E:

So just how much trouble is Bush in?

Events in the Middle East are not exactly turning out the way President George W. Bush would have liked, and this is particularly bad with an election year just around the corner. The situation in Iraq is not progressing nearly as fast or as successfully as was initially hoped for. Rather, resistance to the continued

The wedding planners

This year, roughly 1,000 couples, spending between $25,000 and $35,000 each, retained the services of wedding planners, those hardy souls who organize, advise, coordinate and offer a shoulder to cry on. Essentially an American import, wedding planning has evolved from a few scattered operators into a lucrative $7 million niche sector, serviced by a dozen

Tough sell

Recent data suggests that commercial banks and financial institutions in Lebanon are increasingly shying away from corporate lending. In fact, most major banks remain wary of the Lebanese corporate environment, as they still attempt to mend their existing portfolios of corporate debt, to the extent of actually reducing the size of their portfolio of commercial

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

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