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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities January 1, 2016

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
what happened?

by the editor-in-chief Last year was horrible again in the Middle East and in other places. Violations of all human rights tenants and the Geneva Convention have become a daily staple in which great powers engaged as ferociously as by Middle-Eastern state-sponsored and paramilitary organizations. With this backdrop, our country fared relatively well, even though we had our share of mayhem as well. AN ORGY OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY No holds barred attacks on civilians, especially in Syria, were committed by everyone. A coalition of more than a dozen countries led by the United States has pounded Syria (and Iraq) relentlessly, joining and exacerbating the carnage already taking place between the Syrian-Iranian-LeHezb and other regional armed groupings coalition on the one side, and their opponents from Islamists, sectarian and non-sectarian opposition groups, on…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES We are also suffering from ‘political garbage’ Prime Minister Tamam Salam Some persist in knocking down the mobile phone tender. We are as persistent in realizing it Boutros Harb, Minister of Telecom We will witness a resounding scandal in the telecom sector Walid Jumblatt, MP I have no doubt that pharmaceutical companies are acting out of pure profit motives and not from a responsibility toward citizens’ safety Wael Abou Faour, Minister of Health Forty percent of garbage can be traced to refugees Alain Hakim, Minister of Economy and Trade The trouble is not in the confessional system, but rather in the absence of economic planning Hussein Hajj Hassan, Minister of Industry There is no need for the Central Bank or for banks to panic Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader Russia is an important market, but if it will expose our banks to risk from its…

9 min
in good company

RÉGIE TO DOUBLE PRODUCTION CAPACITY Régie, the State-owned tobacco monopoly, will expand its factory’s production capacity in Hadath, in 2016. George Hobeika, Secretary General of Régie, said: “Demand for the new types of local cigarettes ‘Cedars Silver’ and ‘Cedars Plus’ is increasing, so we will install new production lines to double production.” Production will reach 290,000 boxes (500 packs per box) and will be entirely dedicated for the local market. Hobeika said that international companies have shown interest in manufacturing their cigarettes in Régie’s factory. Investment in the new production line is estimated at $7 million. Régie financed around $25 million this year to rehabilitate the old Hadath factory and to install new equipment. The total built-up area of the facility is 12,000 square meters. Revenues from Régie to the State…

4 min
money & banking

CENTRAL BANK LIMITS INCUBATORS’ SHARES IN STARTUPS Incubators and accelerators are allowed to invest only up to five percent in the capital of each startup company that benefits from their support, according to a circular by the Central Bank (BDL) issued recently. “BDL is keen to determine the goal of each investor in startups,” said Marwan Mikhael, Head of Research at Blominvest Bank. “Instead of having high shares in a target company and provide it with a priority, BDL considers that incubators and accelerators should be neutral and serve many companies in the market,” he said. Managers of incubators and accelerators are also not allowed to have direct or indirect shares or investments on their own behalf in these startups, the circular said. The circular said that profits and amounts due…

14 min
official business

MUNICIPALITIES TO GET $800 MILLION FROM MOBILE REVENUES The Council of Ministers has issued three decrees approving the distribution of LL1,200 billion ($800 million) to municipalities. The sum represents arrears of their shares from tax proceeds on mobile phone revenue from the beginning of 2010 to the end of May 2014. Nearly LL667 billion ($445 million) of the total amount is allocated to municipalities and federations of municipalities, LL527 billion ($351 million) are due to the Independent Municipal Fund, while LL6 billion ($4 million) are to be paid to villages that do not have municipalities. L0116-21 WORKS ON TRIPOLI’S EASTERN RING ROAD BEGIN Expropriation of property for Tripoli’s Eastern Ring Road has begun. The $100 million project is partly funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The 8.5 kilometers road starts from Wadi Abu…

6 min
matters of fact

INDUSTRIAL PERMITS RISE SHARPLY Industrial permits issued by the Ministry of Industry (MoI) reached 357 in the first half of 2015, increasing by 38 percent from the same period last year. Establishment licenses, i.e. to start a factory, represented the highest percentage (38 percent). Investment licenses, related exploitation of the facility, represented around 22 percent. Most licenses were issued to industries from the third category (45 percent) or semi-light industries, such as food industry factories, then for industries from the fourth light category (35 percent), such as textile factories. “There is a large potential in the food industrial sector and it is achieving continuous growth,” said Fadi Gemayel, Chairman of the Association of Industrialists. He said that there is still a shortage in the amount of food produced and this is…