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WHAT'S NEW: BUSINESS
Myki, a provider of digital identity management solutions has been acquired by US-based global tech company JumpCloud
JumpCloud will keep Myki’s team. Myki was founded in Beirut in 2016 by Antoine Jebara and Priscilla Sharuk.
CMA CGM wins concession of Beirut Port container terminal for a ten-year period starting in March 2022
Beirut Container Terminal Consortium (BCTC) was managing the terminal for the past 17 years.
LAU signed an MoU with Al Oufouq for Development and Kasr Al Waha for Development to set up a campus in Baghdad that will include a hospital
In the first exploratory phase of the project, LAU will study the feasibility of certain academic program. This phase will take three to five years to be completed.
Alamaza back to the family: Philippe Jabre reacquires majority stake from Heineken
Philippe Jabre, a Geneva-based Lebanese investor and founder of hedge funds and personal wealth management companies, has acquired the majority ownership stake of Heineken Group in Brasserie Almaza (Almaza). The Almaza brewery was founded in 1933 by Jabre’s grandfather and two other members of the family in addition to two other shareholders. The combined stake of the Jabre family members was 60 percent at that time.
WHAT'S NEW: MATTERS OF FACT
Decline in payment cards and Points and Sales
Payment cards include debit, credit, charge, and prepaid cards. Only prepaid cards witnessed an increase.
Slight increase in Port of Beirut freight activity
Increase by almost two percent in 2021 to 4.6 million tons.
Balance of Payment deficit drop significantly
The deficit of Balance of Payments (BoP) narrowed by 81 percent to $2 billion in 2021 from $10.6 billion in the previous year.
Registered property deals hit highest level in a decade
The number of real estate transactions registered at the Land Registy and Cadaster jumped by 34 percent to around 110,000 in 2021, its highest level in the last decade.
People on the move
New Born Companies
ECONOMY: COUNTRY REPORT
Potential Return to modest growth amid many challenges
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continue to urge the government to speed up the reform process amid the escalating crises. The world bank has accused the country’s elite of deliberately orchestrating the depression. The modest possible return to growth follows a very weak GDP base and so it is not significant.
Water supply will exceed demand if resources are well exploited
Prospects for more projects in the water sector as exploitable water resources exceed demand and remain largely untapped. Insufficient investment and mismanagement of water supply and demand are behind chronic water shortages. Besides water exploitation, water storage projects would boost the country’s static storage projects would boost the country’s static storage capacity by 76 percent but need to be reconsidered due to controversial issues. Implementing radical reforms would enable loss-making water utilities to efficiently exploits water resources and meet demand while preparing to face the future impact of climate change.
ECONOMY: DONE DEAL
Initial staff-level IMF agreement has plenty of reform strings attached: $3 billion over four years contingent on prior actions and final board approval
The financing is a 46 month Extended Fund Arrangement (EFF) drawn on the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) at the request of Lebanon.The EFF aims to support the authorities’ reform strategy to restore growth and financial sustainability, strengthen governance and transparency, and increase social and reconstruction spending.
IMF's Crystal Ball: What it saw, didn't see, and when - Critical reading of Article IV Consultation Reports (2011-2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published over the years, at the request of the Lebanese government, periodic reports on the economic, fiscal, and monetary conditions of the country, and also about the health of its financial sector. Typically, the IMF sends a mission to Lebanon which issues a fact finding and recommendation report called ‘Article IV Consultation’. Usually, the published report reflects the findings of a mission conducted the previous year.
Women in the workforce
A synthesis of a recent report by The Central Admnistration of Statistics (CAS), and two others by UN Women, one in conjunction of the World Bank - International Finance Corportation (IFC), and the other with the European Union (EU), are showing major strides in the levels of participation and pay for women in the country. Educational levels of women improved at a much faster pace compared to men during the last 30 years. This has led to substantial increase in their participation in the labor force. University education has also shrunk the wage gap. Despite this improvement, the gender gap remains in labor force participation and pay. The recent economic, covid-19 pandemic, and the port explosion crises have further widened these gaps. Women are also underrepresented in top managerial positions and among business owners. The future however, holds encouraging prospects as the outcome of female educational achievements will materialize further over the long run. Women have a better prospective in growing sectors like the knowledge economy, tourism, agriculture, and industrial production.
BUSINESS: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Private initiative to address vulnerabilities: High risk of cyberattacks
Vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks are high amid lack of awareness and widespread carelessness but a private and forthcoming creation of a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-LB) as envisaged in the government’s ’Lebanon National Cyber Security Strategy’ are expected to strengthen the country’s information technology systems against cyber-attacks.
BUSINESS: CREATIVE INDUSTRY
Design and creative services profit from skilled labor and cost advantage, study by IoF
The design and creative services sector had been explanding before the beginning of the economic crisis. These services are subsector of the Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI). Most of Lebanon’s CCI production is appreciated abroad mainly in the Arab world thanks to the country’s educative and creative human resources. The CCI industry’s total revenues reach almost $1 billion in normal times
Earth, wind, and fire: UNDP highlights promising eco-friendly ventures
The recently published ’Lebanon-State of the Environment and Future Outlook (SOER)’ report by the UNDP shows that hundred of millions of dollars could be saved or generated by implementing environmentally friendly measures and projects.
Recycling has potential growth: Encouraging sorting could fill the input gap
Local companies that recycle paper and plastic waste are witnessing growing export prospects for their output
FINANCE: IN MY OPINION
Urban legends and the true story: Banks' placements with the Central Bank, Makram Sader
The ongoing debate across the country shows that the financial gap at the Central Bank (BDL) exceeds $55 billion taking into account the value of gold and BDL’s foreign currencies
Capital Control Law: A fatal blow to the economy, Mounir Rached
The proposed law does not only put restrictions on transfers abroad, but it also imposes strict controls on withdrawals by depositors from their lira and U.S. dollar accounts in Lebanese banks.
COVER STORY: BUSINESS SUPPORT INITIATIVES
Promising potential in exports and import substitution industries
Donors fund programs which are implemented as projects. The benefits and targeted sector for each project, and to which program it belongs to.A directory of projects and programs provides summaries of each program and project.