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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities Apr-18

Lebanon Opportunities is a quarterly business magazine that covers: Finance, Real estate, Economy, and Local business. Lebanon Opportunities has tens of thousands of readers in Lebanon and across the globe. It is the prime local business magazine in Lebanon in terms of readership, advertising, and name-awareness. Lebanon Opportunities is written to a target of small business owners, entrepreneurs and middle management, as well as to Lebanese living abroad. It aims at bringing complex business issues in a simple manner understandable by readers who are not experts and whose English language is not the mother tongue.

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2 min
what’s bankrupt, and what’s not

The President – as reported by the Maronite Patriarch – has said that the country is bankrupt. The Prime Minister has echoed similar concerns. The celestial colonial leader of ‘Le Hezb’ has now seen it his calling to intervene in order to liberate the economy from its capture. As the Cèdre Paris donor conference approaches and parliamentary suffrage right behind it, various political parties are brandishing their consistent failures to convince the international community to pour in even more money, and voters to renew their support for the same cast of characters that have led the republic in the past many years. It is a novel approach to democracy – that seems to be working: Politicians acknowledge having done their worst and promise more of the same, people give their…

2 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES Politicians alone won’t secure UN Sustainable Development Goals Prime Minister Saad Hariri President Aoun said that the country is bankrupt Cardinal Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Maronite Patriarch GDP is boosted by one percent for every $1 billion of donor funding spent Riad Salameh, Central Bank Governor We are near bankruptcy but there is a good opportunity for a solution Ghassan Hasbani, Deputy Prime Minister The Minister of Finance is responsible for sabotaging the electricity file Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs I am proud to have disrupted the Deir Ammar power plant contract to sheiled it from waste and corruption Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance We are being accused of stealing VAT! For God’s sake, teach us how do you do that! Salim Jreissati, Minister of Justice The power generator mafia is at cross with our plan Cesar Abou Khalil, Minister of…

6 min
in good company

BEIRUT CHAMBER EXPANDS TO JOUNIEH The Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIABML) inaugurated last month a branch in Jounieh. The total built-up area of the office reaches 850 square meters, including a conference hall named ‘Cheik Nassib Gemayel’, and a meeting room named ‘Hanna Fahed’. It also comprises offices representing the CCIABML and Union of Mount Lebanon Traders, Jounieh and Kesrouan Traders Association, Kesrouan Industrialists Association, Syndicate of Owners of Maritime Touristic Institutions, and a center for processing paperwork. Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of CCIABML, said: “The new branch was created and equipped with the most advanced technologies in order to host major economic events.” Choucair said that everyone, especially the public sector, has become aware of the private sector’s role and capabilities in preserving the…

9 min
money & banking

SUBSIDIZED HOUSING LOANS FUNDED FROM 2019 BUDGET The Central Bank will increase the number of housing loans that will benefit from the interest rate subsidy. The total amount earmarked for housing loan subsidies for 2018 has been completely used up in just one month due to a large number of loan applications that have been rolled over from last year’s excess demand. Riad Salameh, the Governor of the Central Bank (BDL), said that some banks made commitments beyond their assigned quotas. BDL asked them to fulfill these obligations by using funds from the forthcoming 2019 subsidy package. A source said that BDL is also considering increasing the ceiling of subsidized housing loans for 2018 beyond the previously allocated $500 million. The 2018 stimulus program, worth up to $1 billion, was launched…

12 min
official business

PRIVATE SECTOR TO TAP $6 BILLION IN PUBLIC PROJECTS The High Council for Privatization (HCP) has proposed a list of projects subject to public-private partnership (PPP) deals, which will be part of a $22 billion infrastructure investment program (IIP). The 18 projects that have been announced have a combined value of over $6 billion. They include five projects in transport, five projects in wastewater, three projects in water, two projects in solid waste, one project in energy, one project in telecom, and the Tripoli Special Economic Zone. Ziad Hayek, Chairman of the HCP, said: “This is not an exhaustive list of potential PPP projects. Many of the projects currently under examination are not listed, for particular reasons in each case.” He said that the presented projects are not all at the…

11 min
matters of fact

FISCAL DEFICIT DROPS 24 PERCENT The fiscal deficit narrowed 24 percent to $3.76 billion in 2017 as total revenues increased at a greater rate than expenditures, according to the Ministry of Finance (MoF). Total revenues, mainly driven by tax revenues, jumped 16 percent to $10.8 billion, while total spending rose nine percent to $14.1 billion. Tax revenues surged by $1.2 billion, or 17 percent. Non-tax revenues increased by $315 million, or 14 percent. The decrease in the fiscal deficit was the result of an improvement in tax collection and additional austerity measures regarding spending, said Marwan Barakat, Chief Economist and Head of Research at the Bank Audi group. He said that there is a need to improve tax collection further as fiscal evasion still accounts for eight percent of GDP. Barakat…