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Lebanon Opportunities

Lebanon Opportunities October 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
slaps in the face

by the editor-in-chief The Constitutional Council’s slap in the face to the Parliament and Cabinet is the latest demonstration of the dismal state of governance. The decision, a first, and considered naively by many as a victory for the rule law, has injected havoc into a disarrayed management of public finance, and added to confusion among legislators, most of whom are neophytes when it comes to how the real economy works. WHAT HAS NOT BEEN SAID During the never-ending debates on how to raise revenues to cover the increase in public wages, none of the politicians and other stakeholders, such as groups representing business and labor, have made the point that imposing new taxes, or raising them, in the middle of a fiscal year, could have a catastrophic impact economically, and yield very…

1 min

SOUND BYTES The number of refugees has become dangerous and poses economic and security difficulties President Michel Aoun The judgment of the Constitutional Council was not brought by angels Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri We are getting ready for the reconstruction of Syria Prime Minister Saad Hariri The implementation of the salary scale law without taxes will turn Lebanon into (another) Greece Melhem Riachi, Minister of Information Increasing taxes may lead to inflation Raed Khoury, Minister of Economy and Trade There is a conspiracy against Tripoli when it comes to electricity Mohamad Kabbara, Minister of Labor Corruption is estimated to be equivalent to nine percent of GDP Nicolas Nahas, former Minister of Economy and Trade By giving up taxes, the budget deficit will increase by about $1 billion and becomes a threat to public finances Georges Adwan, MP For ten years now, they’ve been saying that it is…

4 min
in good company

Provided by AL ETTIHAD NEWSPAPER TO BE LAUNCHED A new Arabic language newspaper by the name of Al Ettihad Al Loubnani will be launched this month, according the Founder and Editorin- Chief Moustafa Nasser. The electronic version of the daily will be begin operation about three weeks later. The newspaper and company is owned by Nasser and other shareholders. Nasser said claims that print media is facing a difficult future are exaggerated. Even if it is challenging, there is no reason not to embark on this venture, he said. Al Ettihad has hired journalists from the defunct Assafir and from other newspapers, according to Nasser. Assafir went out of print in December 2016. Talal Salman, Publisher of Assafir, will not be on the team of the new daily. The license for Al…

4 min
money & banking

Provided by €80 MILLION BDL-SUBSIDIZED ENERGY LOANS AT ZERO INTEREST The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) will provide a financing facility of €80 million ($95.8 million) through local banks to finance energy projects. The interest rate paid by the borrowers will be near zero as the credit hard Six, Senior Engineer at the Energy Efficiency and Small- Scale Energy Projects division of the EIB’s Energy Department. “It is a good opportunity for local companies to improve their energy efficiency and their performance in addition to enabling them to use more renewable energy,” Six said. LEEREFF aims to finance projects ranging from a minimum of $54,000 in investment to a maximum of $60 million. The scheme could also finance smaller projects if large demand for such loans emerges.…

3 min
official business

Provided by POWER BARGE TENDER TO BE RELAUNCHED The Cabinet has referred the terms of reference for two additional power barges to the Department of Tenders, for the second time. Both barges are required to have the capacity to produce 425 megawatts. The Department of Tenders will relaunch the tender once it receives instructions from the Cabinet. The tender will call for power plants that have the ability to produce 400 megawatts within three months, and an additional 400 megawatts over six months. Jean Ellieh, Director-General at the Department of Tenders, said: “We expect that the Ministry of Energy and Water has not fixed the gaps we have previously highlighted in the terms of reference.” The terms of reference are expected to be amended to allow more competitors to participate. “It is…

3 min
matters of fact

Provided by HOTEL REVENUES AND OCCUPANCY UP Revenue per available room in Beirut is forecasted to increase by almost 20 percent this year, reaching $87, according to a survey conducted by Colliers International. Occupancy rates are expected to reach 59 percent, up from an estimated 50 percent in 2016. The average daily room rate is forecast to remain stable at $146. This analysis is based on operating data from a sample of three-, four-, and five-star hotels and quality serviced apartments. Pierre Achkar, Chairman of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners, said, “Occupancy rates increased by ten percent in summer compared to the same period last year.” But, according to Achkar, hotels, especially three- and four-star, did not witness an increase in room rates in comparison to historic highs. “Room prices are still…