Economics & Policy articles

Moneyed marriage

Moneyed marriage

Reading Time: 5 minutes Following the failed merger talks between Banque Audi and Banque Libano-Francaise in 2002, few anticipated the announcement of last month’s $159 million merger acquisition of Banque Audi and Banque Saradar. Moreover, such a merger differs significantly from the type of consolidation sought by the central bank, namely a consolidation of the smaller, less efficient, banks

Q&A: Freddie Baz

Reading Time: 4 minutes How long were the two banks involved in negotiations before signing the agreement to form a single group? The two banks have had a long proactive relationship. Every now and then we sat together on the managerial level and assessed the situation of the banking industry in Lebanon and the consolidation process. In this favorable

Waiting for BASEL II

Reading Time: 6 minutes The Basel II Capital Accord, the set of rules issued by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in 1999 to establish new regulations for banks world-wide, aims to encourage the development of better risk management by banks. Additionally it aims to add momentum to consolidation in the banking sector, change the shape of the credit

Spike in the Euro

Reading Time: 4 minutes Back in January 2002, we analyzed the fate of the euro in this section, looking at its performance since its launch and placing the technical framework for what appeared to be a move up, destined to hit the $1.17-$1.20 area. As is often the case in the currency markets, the euro has not only overshot

Year of the bull

Reading Time: 3 minutes The year 2003 is history and, in the US, the market battle is now beginning again. For the month of January, we will have to struggle with summaries of what happened during the last year and predictions of how the major indices will perform in 2004. Neither times gone by nor anticipation will make us

Yet another bad year

Reading Time: 4 minutes It has become customary, in the first few weeks of January, to lay out forecasts for the rest of the year. Analysts from the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to the World Bank get the chance to wipe clean their slate and begin a new framework, maybe with a little carried over optimism from the

Is it worth the risk?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Fluctuating performances, a harsh competitive environment, a limited market, and high threats of terrorism and war are just a few of the critical factors affecting both the current operations of foreign banks in Lebanon, and their future strategies with that regard. Major shock waves have hit foreign banks in Lebanon over the past few years,

Crying over spilt milk

Reading Time: 6 minutes The government and the private sector must do more than squabble over the standards in the dairy product sector if proper regulation is to be achieved. Cutthroat competition between small and big producers, chaotic ministerial control and sluggish exports of a mere $3 million all have to be addressed. The health standards of dairy products,

Age of the mega mall

Reading Time: 5 minutes ABC opened its much-trumpeted 120,000m2 shopping mall in November and there are five more massive retail projects in the pipeline – the Habtoor Group’s Metropolitan City Center in Sin al-Fil, ADMIC’s Geant in Dora and Carrefour Dbayeh, Solidere’s Souqs, and the Landmark mall, also in the BCD. But what does this mall craze mean for

Industry woes

Reading Time: 5 minutes In 2003, the manufacturing sector witnessed some improvements, mainly related to healthier exports. By and large, though, 2003 has not been much different from previous years. The fact remains that Lebanese manufacturers are still operating in a moribund economy. Furthermore, mixing politics and economics is adding to our woes. Lebanon doesn’t know in which direction

Top