Comment articles

A sea of small fish

A sea of small fish

Reading Time: 3 minutes Whether it is mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, managed accounts, individual securities or any other alternative investment, one can safely assume that the needs of high net worth individuals are catered for by both local and international banks and financial institutions. There is a plethora of financial products and services to address the

Towards energy independence

Reading Time: 3 minutes The dictum ‘the Stone Age did not come to an end because the world ran out of stone’ still rings true. The transition to forms of energy other than oil, gas and coal will happen — and is happening — and therefore will continue to happen in 2015. In fact, 2015 will serve to remind

Floating an idea

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Eastern Mediterranean is a complex environment for gas producers and countries aspiring to become gas exporters in the next few years. Not only do they have to deal with the usual industry challenges, but also with an even tougher factor: geopolitics. A recent report commissioned by the Norwegian government highlights such difficulties by indicating,

Hell’s angels

Reading Time: 3 minutes Can any trade sector survive without governing laws? In Lebanon yes, it is possible, yet some business owners struggle to keep their companies as legitimate as needed. It does sound ironic, but at all times in this country you have to fight your way into legality. Legal and governmental institutions have been formatted to accept

It came out of nowhere

Reading Time: 3 minutes At the end of every year, automotive dealers typically begin massive liquidation campaigns to get rid of their older stock and make way for newer models. The 2014 campaigns are set to be more drastic than usual, as distributors face tremendous challenges that are curtailing their sales and piling up the amount of inventory sitting

Resigned to failure

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon is in a unique position. It has autonomy to make many decisions on its own and is more or less immune from having its work disrupted by a political class that cannot make decisions. IDAL does not sit for years with its hands tied, awaiting a government decree to

Dormant capital

Reading Time: 6 minutes When it comes to the question of what Lebanese commercial banks should and could do differently in 2015, the short answer is ‘almost everything’. However, as far as what one can realistically expect them to do differently, from the damaging ways they have trodden for more than two decades, the answer is ‘very little’. As

Fine wining

Reading Time: 4 minutes May 2013 was a decisive moment for the Lebanese wine industry. For the first time, the state put its hand in its pocket to support the burgeoning sector by hosting a Lebanese wine day at the George V Hotel in Paris. In 2014, the ministry stumped up again by hosting another bumper event, this time

Lebanese fall for ‘fast fashion’

Reading Time: 5 minutes Retailing in Lebanon in 2014 felt the impact of global trends, as well as influences particular to the chaotic situation in the Middle East. In particular, Lebanon’s ailing economy and the influx of over 1 million refugees from Syria has had a major impact on the sector. According to Business Monitor International, while sales of sporting

New flavors

Reading Time: 6 minutes New Year, new trends: when it comes to the Lebanese food and beverage (F&B) industry, 2015 brings with it its share of new places and latest fads. The trends of 2014 have been put to the test, some have died, others have remained, but all have been affected by the economic situation and judged by