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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities July 2017

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
political ransomware

The wheel is turning, slowly but surely. This is what the political class has concluded. With the passage of an election law, we are being promised an end to gridlock. A number of dubious projects will be pushed through the Cabinet. Releasing the mega infrastructure and social programs held hostage by politics will come at a cost. A ransom has to be paid to all influential parties. We will all benefit! GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS Several political leaders have lauded what they viewed as progress: The election of a president, the formation of a cabinet, and the passing of the electoral law. In their book, securing positions is their yardstick against which it can be measured. No one has noted the continuous failure to attack the key socio-economic problems, let alone to bring a…

1 min
information bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES We are reviewing our economic policies to become based on production rather than on subsidy President Michel Aoun It is forbidden to quarrel on issues such as the public budget Prime Minister Saad Hariri We are not ready for privatization as of yet Jamal Jarrah, Minister of Telecom We are committed to providing electricity at the cheapest prices Cesar Abi Khalil, Minister of Energy and Water We are all for providing 24/7 electricity…but in compliance with procurement laws Ghassan Hasbani, Deputy Prime Minister If cement factories cause cancer, they would have been closed all over the world Pierre Doumit, Chairman of Cimenterie Nationale Let this current political class stay for 100 years, but at least do something Paul Abi Rached, Chairman of Lebanon Eco Movement We will not stay silent anymore in front of the dumping that is hurting local producers Hussein Hajj Hassan,…

9 min
in good company

Provided by SPINNEYS PLANS EXPANSION Spinneys is planning to open three new branches by the end of 2017. The branches will be located in Ain el Tineh, Jdeideh, and Mtayleb. The investment value for all three branches is $6 million. The supermarket already opened a 7,300 square meter (m2) branch this year at The Spot Choueifat. This brings the total number of branches to 17, including three ‘Happy’ discount stores. This makes Spinneys the largest operating local supermarket chain in terms of number of outlets. “We have performed satisfactorily thanks to our varied product mix and ability to sustain customer loyalty,” said Michael Wright, CEO of Spinneys. The supermarket imports many international brands directly such as Auchan, Netto, and Tesco. The Ain el Tineh and Jdeideh branches will open this month. They…

1 min
nadim shwayri passes away

Social entrepreneur Nadim Shwaryi (82 years), founder of Al Kafaàt Foundation and University, passed away on Wednesday, June 14. Shwayri started ‘Al-Kafaàt Foundation’ in 1957, with a dual goal to educate children and teenage prostitutes from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. They were taught skills in making handmade leather and other items that were mainly exported to Europe and the United States. In the mid-1970s, Shwayri opened Al-Kafaàt, a technical and vocational hospitality school in Dekwaneh. The foundation set up a university in 1995, as part of its strategy to support youth, following the success it had in mainstream education, technical and vocational rehabilitation. In 1999, Al Kafaàt gained a license as an Institution of Higher Education, and established in 2003 the Al-Kafaàt Campus in Ain Saadeh. The university covers around 18…

8 min
money & banking

Provided by SHAKER HOLDINGS EXITS BLOM BANK Shaker Holdings has sold the remainder of its stake in BLOM Bank consisting of 6.5 million common shares to Banorabe S.A. and BLOM Bank itself for a total of $69.8 million. Each share was sold for $10.7, BLOM Bank said in a statement. Luxembourg-based holding company Banorabe, part of the Blom Group family, has acquired five million shares for a total of $53.5 million, thus raising its stake in the bank to 17.5 percent from 15.2 percent. With a stake of 34.4 percent, Bank of New York is the major shareholder in BLOM Bank whose total equity stood at $2.94 billion at the end of 2016. Other major shareholders include members of the Azhari family (7.5 percent), Jaroudi family (2.7 percent), Saade family (2.5 percent),…

5 min
official business

Provided by ZAHLEH POWER CONCESSION TO BE TERMINATED César Abi Khalil, Minister of Energy and Water, in an exclusive interview, said the concession granted to Electricité de Zahleh (EDZ) decades ago will not be renewed. The concession expires in late 2018. “EDL will regain control over power distribution in the city, just like we did in Aley two years ago, and will do in Jbeil when the concession there expires,” he said. EDZ is in charge of distribution and production of electricity in Zahleh and vicinity. It has 61,000 subscribers and employs 200. More than two years ago, EDZ launched a plan to generate 60 MW of power through installing a large generator with the goal to provide residents with 24/7 electricity. EDZ Chairman Assaad Nakad said: “When the concession expires, we…