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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities November 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
spinning the desolation

A new era begins with leaders at the top that we may be in support of – or not. A series of compromises – capitulations one could say – has led to an octogenarian to become President, and a quadragenarian to be renamed Prime Minister. With the impossible mission to positively spin this dramatic turn of events, there is honest optimism for a dreamer like this author. SECURING SECURITY The security apparatus in the country, for a long time, has been firmly under the thumb of Le Hezb. After the ISIS attacks on our border and inside the country, political factions opposed to the yellow armada have toned down their rhetoric against it. Now it is going to share power with it in a more direct manner. This bodes well in the…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES The deterioration of the economic situation is threatening disaster Patriarch Bechara Raii We will ensure round-the-clock electricity in Tripoli, by force if necessary Ashraf Rifi, resigned Minister of Justice The political class has suspended the Social Economic Council for 20 years Ali Hassan Khalil, Minister of Finance Political bickering led the garbage crisis to where it is Mohamed Machnouk, Minister of the Environment Foreign reserves at the Central Bank are at a historical record Riad Salameh, Governor of the Central Bank We seek to increase olive oil output from 10 kg to 25 kg per tree, and consumption per capita from 5 kg to 15 kg Akram Chehayeb, Minister of Agriculture Beirut is the capital of fashion Michel Pharaon, Minister of Tourism The State must show maximum interest in agriculture within the economic structure Toufic Dabboussi, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of…

16 min
in good company

FIAT AND ALFA ROMEO SWITCH TO GARGOUR Gargour Automotive Co. (GAC) will become the exclusive importer and agent for Fiat and Alfa Romeo. The automobiles will be available at its showrooms starting from mid-November, said Ziad Chehab Sales Manager at GAC. The two brands are now manufactured by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which also produces Chrysler cars. FCA, the world’s seventh-largest car maker, was the result of a merger between Fiat and Chrysler in 2014. The dealerships have been transferred to GAC because it is already the local distributor of Chrysler cars, Chehab said. Alfa Romeo is also manufactured by Fiat. After the merger, the three brands – Chrysler, Fiat, Alfa Romeo – are made by a single company, FCA, and it makes sense to have a single local dealer, he…

5 min
money & banking

SOLIDERE SHARES SOAR Solidere’s shares soared on the back of a better prospective for the election of a new President. ‘A’ shares jumped 19 percent and ‘B’ shares surged 21 percent during the recent developments in the race to elect a President. The shares decreased on profit taking. Toufic Karam, Head of Capital Markets at FFA Private Bank, predicted that Solidere shares will rise again if news of political decompression continues to emerge. “It has been two years since we have seen such prices,” Karam said. There was no impact on the shares of banks and other listed companies because Solidere is more sensitive to political news, he said. Nearly 358,000 ‘A’ shares changed hands on the day of announcements, 32 times the daily average for the summer. The volume of…

5 min
official business

$3.4 BILLION FROM UN FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS The United Nations has launched the Strategic Framework (UNSF) for Lebanon for the period 2017-2020. The strategy focuses on three core priorities: Peace and security, stability and governance, and poverty reduction and development. To carry out this strategy, the UN will dedicate around $3.4 billion on related projects and programs. According to the UNSF, “The approach aims to support Lebanon on the path to development in accordance with the goals of the (Lebanese Government) 2030 Agenda.” As part of the first security-related priority, interventions will include supporting internal security forces and municipal policing. UN aims to strengthen capacities to control borders and manage cross-border security threats, thus protecting migrants from trafficking and reducing the likelihood of irregular entry. As part of the…

4 min
matters of fact

MODEST GROWTH IN REMITTANCES Remittance inflows to Lebanon are expected to increase 1.6 percent to $7.6 billion in 2016, according to The World Bank. Remittances grew four percent in 2015 to $7.5 billion which represented 16 percent of the country’s GDP of that year. A weakness in economic growth in the Gulf and declining oil prices are behind below-normal remittance growth. “More worrisome are structural factors such as de-risking by commercial banks, and the labor market’s ‘nationalization’ policies in some GCC countries that discourage demand for migrant workers,” said a report by The World Bank. Lebanon’s projected 2016 growth rate is higher than the average for low and middle income countries. Remittance flows to these countries are projected to increase by 0.8 percent in 2016. They seem to have entered a…