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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities Feb 1 2015

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
the age of miracles

by the editor-in-chief Only weeks ago, it felt like the end of times. The fiscal deficit had mushroomed in a seemingly uncontrolled mode, and the balance of payments was spiraling down. The cost of energy was climbing so fast, the subsidy to the electrical company per capita became probably the highest in the world. The euro, reaching record levels, had rendered a major portion of imported goods beyond the reach of the common consumer. ISIS and its sisters were starting to make inroads into border areas, and even into the faint hearts of some disillusioned citizens and refugees. The ruling class, busy not electing a President, was shamelessly flaunting its total abandonment, grid locking institutions, and resolutely entrenched in an unwavering and uncompromising confrontation. Then suddenly: Wham, bam! Miracles from the…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES We have to get our expats living in the Gulf to visit their homeland before we ask the Saudis to do so Former President Amine Gemayel The Ministry of Economy should be renamed the Ministry of Administrative Shortcuts and Economy in Duties Wael Abou Faour, Minister of Public Health The visit of the Minister of Public Health to the wheat barns has turned into a publicity stunt and a circus Alain Hakim, Minister of Economy and Trade Some inspectors are blackmailing restaurants Michel Pharaon, Minister of Tourism When the wolves congregate, their greed becomes apparent, as they protect their decomposed products where rats nest, and maybe even whales Walid Jumblatt, MP The Telecom Regulatory Agency should include 24 board members, one for each minister, for its nomination to become possible Boutros Harb, Minister of Telecommunications The ratio of pharmacies to the…

9 min
in good company

ZAHLE’S 45 MW POWER PLANT READY The construction of a plant to generate 45 MW of power in Zahle will be completed soon and generation will start next month. The plant is owned and will be run by Electricité de Zahle (EDZ), a privately owned company with a concession for power transmission. “The plant will generate power during electricity blackouts,” said Nicolas Saba, Project Engineer at EDZ. Zahle’s power supply is divided into two zones, when the electricity is on in one zone it is off in the other. With the new power plant, Zahle will have round the clock power generation. “The plant is expected to benefit 53,000 subscribers in Zahle to the power network. Bill collection will be carried out by EDZ,” he said. The owners of the plant…

1 min
money & banking

LIBANK PREPARING $25 MILLION MUTUAL FUND Levant Investment Bank (Libank), a local independent investment and private bank, will launch a $25 million mutual fund in April. “The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) approved the fund,” said Salim Chaar, Chief Executive Officer of Libank. The US-denominated fund will allocate half the portfolio to fixed income securities, predominantly Lebanese, and the other half to international equities: 35 percent in US equities and 15 percent in Asian equities, mainly Australasian, not including Japanese. “The fund will focus mostly on middle income investors interested in capital preservation and higher returns,” said Chaar. “We are encouraged by the signs of recovery of the US market and some other growing Asian economies, in addition to the fact that they are pegged to the US dollar,” he said. L0215-11 CENTRAL BANK…

8 min
official business

FUNDING FOR TRIPOLI SLAUGHTERHOUSE The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) signed a $19 million loan agreement with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), to build and equip a slaughterhouse in Tripoli. “This project dates back to about ten years, but no funds were available to support its implementation,” said Wafa Charafeddine, Director of Funding at the CDR. “Finally, we succeeded in getting support from the KFAED,” she said. The loan agreement is subject to approval by Parliament. The interest rate on the loan is two percent, with a grace period of three years, starting from the first withdrawal of funds. The loan, which will cover the total cost of the project, will be used to finance the import and establishment of mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as…

6 min
matters of fact

TRIPOLI’S POVERTY RATE AT 57 PERCENT Tripoli is suffering from high poverty rates, according to a study, claiming 57 percent of the population is at or below the poverty line. The study, carried out by the Ministry of Social Affairs, in cooperation with the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) noted a deterioration of the city’s potential growth, economy, society, culture, and architecture. “The city has been facing big problems recently and it needs a big development workshop,” according to a statement by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The report said that 26 percent of Tripoli’s citizens are highly poor, while 77 percent are facing economic difficulties, 35 percent are suffering from health problems, and 25 percent are not receiving an education. The…