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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities October 2016

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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
of talkers and walkers

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block Gibran Kahlil Gibran Another round of consultations has started between political leaders after a long summer lull. This rerun to which people have grown so accustomed is still watched by very few: The same actors, the usual arguments, the expected obstacles, and, most likely, a similar foreseen result. While we are stuck playing the same game, the rest of the world plows ahead, laboring hard to shake–off security and economic uncertainties that have plagued it, trying one approach after the other. Our do–nothing approach has so far taken its toll not just…

1 min
bits & bytes

SOUND BYTES A six-billion-dollar investment will secure 120 permanent jobs for the Lebanese and 80,000 temporary jobs for Syrian refugees Prime Minister Tamam Salam The 4G network will be deployed nationwide before the end of this year Boutros Harb, Minister of Telecom Any Iranian foothold in Lebanese banks will be within our laws Hussein Hajj Hassan, Minister of Industry Decentralization will start with waste treatment Sami Gemayel, MP and President of the Phalange Party We’re doing fine! Riad Salameh, Governor of the Central Bank To be better integrated in a globalized world, it is in our interests not to seem like a kind of freak Alain Bifani, Director General of the Ministry of Finance Beirut is disadvantaged Ziad Chebib, Governor of Beirut I feel disgusted with myself facing the behavior of this political system Fadi Abboud, former Minister of Tourism INFO BYTES $40.7 billion in foreign assets at…

14 min
in good company

TABOURIAN ACQUIRES SANNINE WATER The Tabourian Group has fully acquired Sannine, the natural mineral water company. The acquisition was financed by Credit Bank. Neither party agreed to disclose the amount of the transaction, which was estimated to have closed at $20 million. The entire company has been valuated at $42 million, in addition to substantial retained earnings. Owning 51 percent of Sannine’s shares already, the Tabourian Group acquired the remaining 17.5 percent held by Malia Group, and the 31.5 percent held by Rizk Rizk, owner of Mzaar Ski Resort. The Tabourian Group is in advanced negotiations to acquire Levant Beverage & Dairy from the Mikati family, which produces the Dairy Day product range. “The company is consolidating its position in the beverage industry,” said Elias Fayad, General Manager of Sannine. The…

4 min
money & banking

GREEN LOANS SUBJECT TO NEW CONDITIONS A new set of technical eligibility criteria for National Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action (NEEREA) loans has been announced. The criteria were finalized by the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) based on a request from the Central Bank (BDL). Mazen Halawi, Deputy Director of the financing unit at BDL said: “Real estate development is one the main reasons behind changing the criteria.” Property developers are one of the biggest applicants of NEEREA loans. BDL is concerned that the loans it is offering them are not being used as first intended. He said: “We need to impose strict rules over developers and have better monitoring of their implementation of the loans.” Halawi said: “Major changes will be specifically targeting the criteria of green buildings.”…

12 min
official business

SAIDA TO REORGANIZE 1.4 MILLION SQUARE METER LAND Saida Municipality is working on a plan to partition and merge land measuring 1,400,000 m2 on the city’s eastern borders. Investment required for the project is estimated at $50 million. “The land includes agricultural lots that were not being exploited by their owners,” said Mohammad Saoudi, Mayor of Saida. The Municipality will work on establishing roads, infrastructure, and landscaping. Saoudi said that the land, which is equal to a quarter the size of Saida, will be partitioned into plots on which residential apartments and retail outlets can be developed. He also said that the Municipality has obtained initial approval from the Islamic Development Bank to secure a loan to fund the project. Mustafa Fawaz Engineering & Designs Office has already conducted the engineering…

9 min
matters of fact

RETAIL IS DOWN Two sets of indices have registered negative results in the first half of 2016 compared to those of the same period last year. The indices were recorded by the Beirut Traders Association (BTA)-Fransabank and Lebanese Franchise Association (LFA)-Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon. After accounting for inflation, the BTA index witnessed a drop of around five percent in the second quarter of 2016. The overall index scored 48.9 over 100, which is the first time the index slides under 50 since it was launched in 2011. In spite that inflation regarding clothing prices grew, the BTA index showed that the cost of living had grown by one percent in the second quarter of the year. The LFA index also revealed a decrease in…