Society articles

Running on Empty -Beirut‘s car market kaput

Running on Empty -Beirut‘s car market kaput

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Lebanese car market had its worse summer in decades thanks to the war and a two-month sea blockade, with the number of new registered cars dropping 81% in August compared to the same month last year. The sector is only slowly clawing its way back, with sales down 41% for September. With the economy

Putting money where the mouth is – Lebanon’s boutique foods

Reading Time: 5 minutes Lebanon, with its limited, varied terrain and lack of cheap labor, will never be an ideal environment for mass-production. However, Lebanon is ideally positioned to “go boutique.” There are already boutique hotels and Lebanon is considered a boutique wine producer, so why not other boutique products? Why not, indeed. Local entrepreneurs are catching on, and

Controversial billboards on airport road – Hizbullah’s ad campaign

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the aftermath of its 34-day war with Israel, Hizbullah decided to launch its first-ever full-scale PR campaign: the “Divine Victory” blitz. The slogan was emblazoned on hundreds of billboards, primarily in the South, the Bekaa and the southern suburbs of Beirut, in a blissful union of militancy and marketing. The contract was won by

The Voices of Growth

Reading Time: 7 minutes Pierre Achkar The Lebanese Hotel Owners Association Of course the situation is extremely bad for tourism. Tourism and warfare just do not go hand in hand. We were en route to a record year in terms of foreign arrivals, but now everyone has left. Hotels in the Greater Beirut area, all along the coast, as

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

Ibrahim Muhanna, Chairman, I.E Muhanna group

Reading Time: 8 minutes Ibrahim Muhanna is the chairman of the i.e. Muhanna Group, a leading actuarial firm in the region and publisher of specialized financial strength ratings on Middle Eastern insurance companies. His company also produced the calculations used in devising a program for a Lebanese pension scheme. Executive talked to Muhanna about the situation in the regional

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

The forecast for insurance

Reading Time: 3 minutes Sami Saadeh General manager for the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) E How did the life insurance sector develop in 2005, and what are your expectations for 2006? Do you foresee a boost for the industry from new legislative initiatives? Our exact results for 2005 are not finalized yet, but we hope to achieve a

Karim Fadel- Director, ABC Group

Reading Time: 7 minutes Since opening its first store on Martyrs’ Square in 1936, ABC has grown to become a reference point in the Lebanese retail industry. Boasting over 60,000 square meters of shopping space distributed across eight outlets, the group’s malls secure some 7.5 million visits annually, giving ABC an estimated 13% market share of Beirut’s retail industry

Reeling in customers in good times and bad

Reading Time: 6 minutes The Lebanese retail sector got off to a promising start in 2005, boosted by the exceptional results of the previous year, which had witnessed record post-war tourism figures, and a favorable psychological climate for shopping brought about by a robust economy. January registered an 80% growth in year-on-year tourism retail spending, with visitors from Qatar

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