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PAST ISSUE • DECEMBER 2021 • 

A time for SUICIDE
Two years of bad and lack of public policies

Toters outcompetes Zomato   Blasted hotels will reopen soon  
High fees for fresh fund accounts   A fighting industry made of steel  
Click on entry to get additional information on article
  WHAT'S NEW: BUSINESS
 
Solidere’s net profit drop by 67 percent to $20.7 million in 2020 compared with the previous year, despite surge in land sales. The profit decline was mainly driven by the cancellation of some sales in addition to the increases in the cost of land sales, provisions, and foreign exchange losses.
 
 
AUB branching to Cyprus and Dubai, pending academic accreditation. The project is part of the AUB’s regional expansion strategy that was approved two years ago.
 
 
Mobile app ZoodPay raises $38 million in funding The proceeds will be used to accelerate the growth of the ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ mobile application, in Lebanon which will boost local and cross-border e-commerce transactions. The investors that have participated in the funding round include London-based investment boutique Sturgeon Capital, and Zain Ventures, the venture capital arm of Kuwait-based telecom operator Zain Group.
 
 
Business: CMA CGM reopens local headquarters Following a total blow-out from the Port Explosion, CMA CGM Group has completed the repair of the damages and reopened its reconstructed local headquarters. The group’s future plans include opening a Global Business Center in the region to cater to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
 
 
L'Oréal assigns distributor s for consumer and pro line The French-based personal care and cosmetics leading company, is restructuring its local operations to adapt to the current circumstances in the country. L’Oréal has mandated HOLDAL Group (Abou Adal) as the local distributor of three divisions of its selective products. Ch. Sarraf & Co., the distribution arm of Malia Group, has also been assigned by L’Oréal Lebanon to sell its consumer product line in Beirut, Northern Mount Lebanon, and the North. Other resellers will continue to distribute in the Bekaa and the rest of the country.
 
     
  WHAT'S NEW: FINANCE
 
Subscriptions to foreign funds in 2020 to $798 million, registering a down-trend in recent years. Subscriptions by local investors to foreign investment funds increased. The number of subscribers to foreign funds jumped by 31 percent in 2020 while the number of those subscribing to local funds inched down by one percent.
 
 
Banks require cash deposits from employers for payroll The Association of Banks (ABL) said that the Central Bank (BDL) has reduced the ceilings on the banks’ cash withdrawals from BDL. Each bank is allowed to withdraw cash according to a quota set up by BDL. ABL’s statement came following a dispute between the Syndicate of Hospitals and several banks. The syndicate has accused these banks of refusing to pay the salaries of hospital employees that are domiciled with them unless the hospitals provide the required amount in cash.
 
 
$500 million fund to lend local businesses A group of private Lebanese investors made up of Palladium and its asset management arm Bamboo Capital Partners in addition to Cedar Oxygen, have entered into a strategic partnership to develop $500 million fund. The Lebanon Economic Empowerment Fund (LEEF) will provide loans to local privately-owned businesses specifically SMEs.
 
     
  WHAT'S NEW: OFFICIAL BUSINESS
 
Ten to 12 hours of electricity supply expected by year-end The increase will be the result of fuel oil imports from Iraq, a 240 MW supply of electricity from Jordan, and natural gas from Egypt. Electricity generation will increase especially at the Deir Ammar power plant which will be supplied by Egyptian gas.
 
 
$87 million for Port of Tripoli The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) and Egypt-based Arab Contractors have signed a contract for the first phase of the development of the Port of Tripoli. Work will start in winter. The project will be completed within two and a half years.
 
     
  ECONOMY
 
Country Report : Officials living in fantasy land and are lacking any sense of urgency Dispute with GCC will delay recovery plans, IMF talks have started but the program is still off, Multi-dimensional poverty hits record high
 
     
  BUSINESS: HOSPITALITY
 
Blasted hotels readying to reopen waiting for insurance indemnification Many hotels stopped their operations in the face of the many obstacles since the events starting in October 2019. More than 3,000 rooms are still closed in Beirut, according to the chairman of the Lebanese Hotel Association (LHA).
 
 
Toters, Zomato: Local delivery app topples internationational player Toters, the local and internationally expanding providers of food - and other items- delivery service has won the match in its fierce competition with the international unicorn Zomato.
 
     
  BUSINESS: MANUFACTURING
 
Steel exports making up for slump in local demand: Filling some of China's retreat from the sector Businesses in the steel sector are following the tacit golden rule of this era ‘export as much as you can and import as little as possible’. This applies to a certain extent to manufacturers of steel materials used in the industrial, construction, and other sectors.
 
     
  IN MEMORIAM
  Best Banking Personality : Naaman Azhari (1928-2021)  
     
  FINANCE: BANKING
 
High bank charges on fresh fund accounts With their revenues from interest rate margins having plummeted, banks are now relying much more on fees charged on various transactions, many of which used to be free of charge.
 
     
  FINANCE: IN MY OPINION
  Bank Restructuring, is there a credible authority?, Makram Sader  
  IMF's SDR's: Definition and relation to foreign exchange reserves, Mounir Rached  
     
  COVER STORY: A TIME FOR SUICIDE
  Two years of economic, fiscal and monetary crises: chronology and impact of public policies and lack thereof  
     
  CALENDAR
  International Trade Exhibitions and Conferences  
     



 

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