Economics & Policy articles

Hotels hike profitability

Hotels hike profitability

Reading Time: < 1 minute Hotels are reaping the benefits as Beirut becomes more attractive to tourists. According to the global accounting firm Deloitte’s most recent report on hotel performance in the Middle East, in the year-to-July, Beirut posted the highest rise in average revenue per available room (revPAR), an industry measure of the hotel industry’s profitability. The rise represents

IMF cautions against complacency

Reading Time: < 1 minute   On October 8 the International Monetary Fund issued the final report of its annual consultation with Lebanon. The report sounds out the resilient position of Lebanon throughout the global financial crisis but cautioned that “underlying vulnerabilities remain large.” After commending Lebanon for weathering the crisis due to “buoyant activity in construction, tourism, commerce and

Fidus – Mahmoud Ezzedine (Q&A)

Reading Time: 3 minutes Established in 1994, Fidus is one of the oldest financial institutions in Lebanon. It acts as a brokerage house subsidiary for Société Générale de Banque au Liban (SGBL). Fidus already extends its services to affiliates in Syria and Cyprus, in addition to its soon to be opened branch in Jordan. Fidus will also be present

MENA – 2009 to tally the toll

Reading Time: 7 minutes The year 2008 will forever be remembered for bringing the global financial system to the brink of total collapse. “When I predicted earlier this year that we were facing the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, I did not anticipate that conditions would deteriorate so badly,” said George Soros, the billionaire American financial speculator, aptly

Inflation – Price bubble spring leak

Reading Time: 4 minutes Inflation was the biggest economic story in the Middle East for 2008, before the global financial system almost completely self-destructed. While inflation was a global problem due to a sharp rise in oil and food prices, levels in the Middle East were exceptionally high. The GCC’s average inflation rate was estimated to be 11.5%, according

IPOs – Waiting game

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Initial Public Offering (IPO) market in 2008 was vibrant in the region before investor confidence was sapped by the global financial disaster. The Bahrain Tribune reported that after specific instructions from the Central Bank of Bahrain, an IPO that was tipped to be one of the country’s biggest, that of real estate and construction

Falling with optimism

Reading Time: 4 minutes At the close of 2008, most financial analysts and observers of the Casablanca Stock Exchange (Bourse des Valeurs de Casablanca, BVC) agree that the market remains sheltered from the financial turmoil rocking global markets, with the national economy’s fundamentals still strong. Thanks to its advantageous position at the crossroads between European and African markets, the

Tunisia – Market maneuvering

Reading Time: 3 minutes Tunisia’s Bourse des Valeurs Mobilieres (BVMT) is expected to remain relatively immune to the international financial crisis in 2009. Mokdadi Hamadi, CEO of UBCI Finance, said that in light of the daily pressure investors apply to stock exchange prices, directors of traded companies should turn to new opportunities, and legally, intervention may take two forms.

Turkey – Running from fire to fire

Reading Time: 3 minutes If it takes brief visits to both extremes to plot a middle course, then 2008 provided Turkey with an opportunity to write the manual for the rest of the world. Still riding high from a decisive election victory in the previous year, the ruling Justice and development Party (AKP) was faced with decimation when the

Shifting gears

Reading Time: 5 minutes Fueled by demographic growth, urbanization and economic development, the cities of the Gulf Cooperation Council are growing at a rapid rate that is outpacing their current transport infrastructure and services. The United Nations forecasts that 88 percent of the GCC will be urbanized by 2025, compared to a world average of 57 percent. What’s more,