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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities Jun-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
winners and losers

Every major political party claimed victory after the results of the parliamentary elections were announced. So did their opponents. Not bad – especially for an electoral law that had consensus for being inadequate and unfair. The true tally of winners and losers is not in the number of votes or seats. It should be evaluated within the tenets of the system. WINNER: A SUSTAINED POLITICAL CLASS The political class, empowered and in continuous development for the past 150 years, easily won a mandate renewal. In retrospect, what was the fuss all about in condemning the repeated extensions of the Parliament’s mandates? The nine-year old Parliament just got a four-year extension, this time with popular legitimacy. There are new faces, but for the same political products. Take a leaf out of the book…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES No economic plan will be fully successful without a solution to the Syrian refugee problem President Michel Aoun We have a historic opportunity to implement the Cedar Conference and associated reforms. No one can impose anything on us Prime Minister Saad Hariri We remain, as before, opposed to shady deals of the power barges Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance We’re back to square one in the electricity issue Cesar Abi Khalil, Minister of Energy and Water Those who knew most about what’s right are those who did wrong Melhem Riachi, Minister of Information The government failed because it could not adopt a policy for Syrian refugees Mouin Merehbi, Minister of the State for Refugees I have a clear conscience Nicolas Tueni, Minister of State for Combating Corruption The holding of parliamentary elections has had a positive impact in financial circles Riad Salameh, Governor…

7 min
in good company

LABAKI’S FILM RIGHTS SOLD IN 60 COUNTRIES Nadine Labaki’s film ‘Capharnaüm’, which earned the Jury Prize at the 71st edition of Cannes Film Festival, has achieved huge commercial success. The film was produced by Mooz Films, a recent company established by Khaled Mouzanar. He said that another company named Capharnaüm Films bought the rights from Mooz films for worldwide distribution. This company is owned by a group of investors that includes Akram Safa and Cedrus Bank, among others. The film’s budget was $4 million. “The high cost of the film was due to the long shooting duration, which took six months,” Mouzanar said. “The film was in post-production for a year and a half.” Around 1,000 people participated in the production, with 100 acting in the film. The company that bought…

5 min
money & banking

$2 BILLION IN EUROBONDS FOR SALE BY THE CENTRAL BANK The Central Bank (BDL) plans to sell Eurobonds worth up to $2 billion over the next 12 months, according to Riad Salameh, its governor. Buyers would mainly be local banks. The bonds, denominated in US dollars, would be sold in tranches ranging between $500 million and $1 billion. Salameh said that Lebanese Eurobonds are undervalued and that they generate high yield on the secondary market. He said that the government does not intend to sell Eurobonds directly on the market but it issues them specifically for BDL. The bonds are part of a swap operation between BDL and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) valued at around $6 billion. It consists of low-interest treasury bills in lira provided by BDL to MoF…

14 min
official business

EXPLORATION PLAN FOR OIL AND GAS APPROVED The Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) has approved an exploration plan put together by the oil and gas consortium Total, Eni, and Novatek. The consortium, which was granted the right to drill in blocks 4 and 9, had 60 days from the date it signed a contract with the State, to deliver the plan for each block. The Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) had 60 days to study and amend it. The plan sets out the main petroleum-related activities to be carried out by the consortium. These include the completion of geological and geophysical surveys of the blocks to improve the probability that they find oil and gas. The plan also includes a roadmap to acquire all necessary governmental permits and approvals. The consortium…

5 min
matters of fact

$9.4 BILLION IN TOURISM OUTPUT The contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was $9.4 billion last year, representing 18 percent of GDP, of which $7 billion were generated from foreign visitors, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The total amount includes direct contributions represented by subsectors such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation, and other indirect contributions from investment and the supply chain. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP last year was $3.3 billion. The sector’s turnover remained stable last year after an eight percent drop in 2016. WTTC expects travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP to grow by 6.2 percent in 2018, reaching $3.5 billion. Jean Abboud, Chairman of the Syndicate of Travel and Tourism Agencies, said: “This summer…