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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities May-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

The country is entering a new phase – with a new Parliament, and a Cabinet to be formed. The groundwork has been done, and all elements of success are within reach – should the reassembled ruling class decide to move ahead. International support from the world powers has been demonstrated by a number of conferences, especially the CEDRE (see page 22) meeting last month, which has put in place the mechanisms to develop our infrastructures for many years to come. Mitigating the burden caused by Syrian refugees (page 36) was the topic of a convention, also held last month, in Brussels. Security had its limelight earlier this year in an international forum in Rome. REFORM IS EXPENSIVE All political parties have advocated and committed to reform in the national unity government’s paper…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES We will start follow-up on the CEDRE resolutions immediately. You can count on us French President Emmanuel Macron The ambitious set of infrastructure projects presents great opportunities to strengthen Lebanon’s economy… American companies will look forward to the new opportunities that the Capital Investment Plan will offer US President Donald Trump There are influential people who protect corruption President Michel Aoun The international community must shoulder its responsibility towards Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri We are losing one opportunity of reform after the other Former Prime Minister Fouad Seniora Loans from CEDRE are going towards investment Riad Salameh, Governor of the Central Bank We are getting good debt from the CEDRE conference Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance The government, with all its components, is determined to implement the reforms and ambitious goals pledged at the CEDRE conference Raed Khoury, Minister of Economy and Trade It…

9 min
in good company

15 MORE PLANES AND HQ FOR MEA Middle East Airlines (MEA) plans to purchase 15 new airplanes between 2019 and 2021, 11 Airbus A321s and four other ‘wide-body’ variants. The new planes will be equipped with Wi-Fi. MEA will expand its headquarters to include several new buildings and hangars, according to its Chairman Mohammad El Hout. The expansion of the headquarters, located near MEA’s recently inaugurated training center near the airport, will cost $150 million. Works will start next year. The new buildings will include a ground technical services building and a ‘green’ office building, both scheduled to be completed in 2020. An in-flight services facility and an aircraft maintenance facility will also be inaugurated in 2021. The new buildings will include a gym and a daycare center for working mothers.…

2 min
money & banking

MINISTRY OF FINANCE TO SUBSIDIZE HOUSING LOANS The Ministry of Finance (MoF) will subsidize interest rates for new housing loans worth up to LL1000 billion ($663 million) provided by the Public Corporation for Housing (PCH). Subsidizing housing loans will be the MoF’s responsibility from now on and the subsidies will be provided each year on a regular basis, Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil said. The loans will be supplied from the banks’ liquidity while the MoF will pay the difference in the interest rates from the public budget. Riad Salameh, Governor of the Central Bank (BDL), said earlier this year that BDL will not subsidize housing loans anymore and that this will be the responsibility of the government. Rony Lahoud, Chairman of the Public Corporation for Housing (PCH) said the…

5 min
official business

ROADS IN MOUNT LEBANON AND AKKAR TO BE IMPROVED The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is developing 27 roads, mainly in Mount Lebanon and Akkar after it received a budget allocation of $50 million, according to Tanios Boulos, Director of the General Directorate of Buildings and Roads at the Ministry. The roads span 151 kilometers in total. The development is part of a decision that was issued by the Council of Ministers in 2012, which approved the Ministry’s plan to rehabilitate and develop 150 roads. But the Ministry did not have enough funds to complete the project. About 90 percent of the 27 roads have been awarded so far. The road with the biggest allocation is in Minieh, valued at $8 million. It includes an expansion of the road as…

3 min
people on the move

TOUFIC EIDO, COUNTRY MANAGER, VIRGIN MEGASTORE LEBANON Toufic Eido has been appointed as Country Manager of Virgin Megastore Lebanon. “We will improve the profitability of our company by investing more in new concepts such as the smart home section, the drones section, lifestyle and service concepts, and specialized audio concepts that cater to our customers. We will be doing everything to bring Virgin Megastore up to the standards of our branches in other countries by increasing the product range and introducing never seen before items,” Eido said. Eido holds an MBA in Accounting and Finance as well as a Master’s degree in Accounting, both from Loyola University, Chicago. He also holds an undergraduate degree from the Lebanese American University. LAYALE ABOU ANTOUN has been appointed Lebanon PR Manager at Huawei Consumer Business…