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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities Aug-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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3 min
self flagellation

by the editor-in-chief The bash-the-economy campaign went into full swing last month. Rumors about the demise of the lira, an economic collapse, weakening of banks, and several vicious innuendos targeted at a few banks have taken social media by storm and were the topics of conversation in the social and business scenes. Reassurances by the Governor of the Central Bank, who in previous instances was always right in his comforting statements, were interpreted by some as proof of fire behind the smoke. A calm reading of the figures shows that the rumors are all just vapor. There is no smoke. What is behind this mass hysteria? BLAME POLITICIANS Most political bosses, even top government leaders, are increasingly using narratives that were in the past articulated by over agitated fringe commentators. “We are at…

1 min

SOUND BYTES No reform is possible in a society whose citizens do not want to combat corruption President Michel Aoun Parliament is in the process of legislating cultivation and manufacture of cannabis for medical uses Speaker Nabih Berri I shall not surrender. We need to secure prosperity Prime Minister Saad Hariri We should prevent and cancel all procurement made by consent Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance President Aoun is the godfather of the McKinsey report Raed Khoury, Minister of Economy and Trade One third of government employees are doing their job, the other third are stealing, and the last third are unemployed Judge Marwan Abboud, Chairman of the Higher Disciplinary Council The decision has been taken that Lebanon would no longer be a title for failure MP Neemat Frem Our discourse has been a failure Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Economic organizations You must help yourselves first Mikhail…

12 min
in good company

DRONES SERVICE LAUNCHED Ideanco, a California-based consultancy and advisory company headed by Lebanese expatriate Maher Ezzedine, will launch locally a drone services unit. Khattar Abdulkhalek, Partner and Project Manager at Ideanco, said that the company has partnerships in the USA and UAE, and provides its clients with different types of drones. Ideanco’s innovation lab will integrate artificial intelligence solutions (AI) to the drones for specialized use by various sectors. According to Abdulkhalek, Ideanco will be the first local company to provide such services. Ideanco is targeting agriculture, construction, education, utility and infrastructure projects, and logistics sectors. Drones can be used by farmers and public entities such as municipalities and ministries to apply pesticides to fight tree diseases in distant and inaccessible locations. Drones can spray 20 liters of pesticides more efficiently…

2 min
money & banking

BANK AUDI IS NOT MERGING WITH BANKMED Bank Audi is not considering a merger with any big bank, and claims that it is in talks to acquire Bankmed are baseless, according to Freddie Baz, Vice Chairman and Strategy Director of the Bank Audi group. Mega mergers cannot happen in Lebanon because the Governor of the Central Bank has repeatedly stated that such kinds of mergers are not encouraged under current circumstances. Since the global financial crisis in 2008, international and local regulators have become more wary of oversized banks. “It is true that the circumstances have improved significantly, but we are still observing persisting volatility, and the regulator is saying the time has not come yet to allow mega mergers,” he said. The regulator believes that it is not in the…

14 min
official business

$400 MILLION JOB OPPORTUNITIES PROJECT FROM THE WORLD BANK The World Bank has approved a new $400 million project to support the expansion of employment opportunities in Lebanon. The financial package is expected to create 52,000 permanent jobs and up to 12,000 short-term employment opportunities. ‘Creating Economic Opportunities in Support of the Lebanon National Jobs Program’ initiative will enhance economic opportunities for vulnerable groups, specifically young men and women. It will provide jobs for Lebanese citizens and temporary employment for Syrian refugees in accordance with existing laws that regulate their presence in the country. The program is expected to double the number of permanent jobs created per year for youth and women compared to the number of jobs created annually prior to the Syrian conflict, according to Haneen Sayed, World Bank…

2 min
matters of fact

TOURIST TAX FREE SPENDING UP NEAR TEN PERCENT THIS YEAR Tax free spending increased by 9.5 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2017, according to Global Blue’s report: ‘Globe Shopper Spending Insights YTD – January to June 2018’. The report accounts for VAT refunds that occur at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport and other borders. Qatari tourist spending increased 118 percent, Syrian by 81 percent, Egyptian by 23 percent, Kuwaiti by 17.5 percent, Emirati by 11 percent, and French spending increased by ten percent. “June witnessed a noticeable growth in tourist spending due to Fitr Holiday. Expatriates from Europe and America were from the top spenders,” said Joe Yaccoub, Managing Director at Global Blue Lebanon. Saudi Arabian spending dropped ten percent, and Jordanian…