Special Report articles

‘Painters are not paid what they deserve’

‘Painters are not paid what they deserve’

Reading Time: 4 minutes Standing six meters tall, French artist Jean Dubuffet’s blue, red, white and black sculpture decorates the entrance of the Beirut headquarters of Bank Audi, Lebanon’s largest bank. It is one among many modern pieces that adorn the head office. Old masters’ paintings also feature in Bank Audi’s corporate art collection on display in their offices

Credit crunched

Reading Time: 3 minutes Loans have divided societies throughout history, between people who consider them a beneficial product that allows customers to purchase goods they need now and pay for later in the future, and others like Thomas Jefferson who believe “that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but

Banks fleeing the storm

Reading Time: 4 minutes Lebanese bankers are sailing off to foreign shores to generate growth in profits as turbulence rattles their home country and cripples their neighbours next door. The blood being spilled in Syria is rising daily with no end in sight. The repercussions on government-less Lebanon go beyond an economic suffocation as violent clashes have again taken

Bank to the future

Reading Time: 3 minutes Trying to achieve anything online in Lebanon can be a frustrating ordeal, so perhaps it’s no surprise that real growth of electronic banking has been late to emerge. According to several Lebanese banks surveyed by Executive, e-banking usage by their customers has increased in the past five years to between 25 and 30 percent, roughly

A lack of credit

Reading Time: 6 minutes Whether for the season’s latest couture, that fancy dinner or more significant bills such as our children’s school tuition, plastic cards are popping out of our wallets three times more frequently than they did five years ago. According to Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, there are 600,000 credit cards and more than 1

A weighty responsibility

Reading Time: 3 minutes In February, thieves stole $45 million from thousands of ATMs worldwide in a matter of hours. In New York City alone, 2,904 machines were hacked, yielding $2.4 million. According to Brooklyn’s federal prosecutor, information used to carry out the hack was initially located in India, but the withdrawals were made from ATMs using Visa and

The rise of Arabia Insurance

Reading Time: 3 minutes Whether the title is general manager or chief executive, or the role is niche player or regional rover, the best way to dress for survival as an insurance company in the Middle East is clad in proper corporate governance. According  to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the global umbrella organization for regulatory bodies

Insurers’ thankless task

Reading Time: 5 minutes Insurance often does not have the most sterling of reputations as a career or a mindset — even among insurance professionals. When an up-market British insurance broker last February wrote his version of a valentine ­­— or, more precisely, a sales pitch for insuring your diamond rings on the occasion of Valentine’s Day — he

Dead in the water

Reading Time: 4 minutes When economic times are tough for Lebanese companies, insurers get singed. Less international trade means fewer cargo insurance contracts. Less hiring means fewer premiums invested in employee needs. Fewer overland deliveries to domestic and neighboring markets means less insurance of commercial vehicles, whether due to smaller fleet sizes or to dropping demand for coverage while

The cost of quality diagnosis

Reading Time: 4 minutes Operating a high-end diagnostic center in Lebanon may be  life saving, commendable and personally rewarding, but the financial returns are unlikely to match those from a plastic surgery outfit.  Imbalances in the public and private sector reimbursement systems for diagnostic exams have distorted yields, conclude the partners of Doctors Center Radiology (DCR), a $10 million