Lebanese Banks Are Battling It On In A Difficult Environment
By Paul Cochrane in Beirut
Lebanon’s banks are at the frontline, both literally – the country borders war-ravaged Syria north and east – and as they negotiate to preserve or recover correspondent relationships in a de-risking environment.
UK drinks association warns its relationship with EU industry bodies may change post-Brexit
By Andrew Burnyeat Britain’s Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WTSA) has said its formal relationship with pan-European Union (EU) associations could change should the UK government go ahead with its Brexit referendum mandate and quit the EU.
Brexit poses key questions on regulation for all business and professional sectors, in and outside the UK
By Keith Nuthall The UK’s vote on June 23 to quit the European Union (EU) creates deep uncertainty over the shape of regulations and legislation in Britain, affecting all economic and professional sectors. As new UK Prime Minister Theresa May takes office, she has the toughest in-tray imaginable – recasting and then renegotiating the UK’s regulatory relationship with the 27 countries remaining in the EU and the EU’s central institutions.
Brexit vote on a knife-edge
By Andrew Burnyeat The Brexit polls predict a knife-edge night of nervous nail-biting for both Remainers and Brexiteers on June 23.
This needs some explanation, given that the vast majority of centre-right, centre and left politicians, together with a huge majority of business leaders and industry associations want the UK to continue its membership of the European Union (EU).
Nuclear deal may have swept away many sanctions, but Iran struggles to mesh with global financial system
By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut Following the international agreement limiting its nuclear power ambitions, Iran is essentially open for business. However, certain US sanctions remain in place, adding to Western banks’ caution in dealing with Iran, long a pariah to global investors and bankers. Indeed, the biggest challenge will be reintegrating Iran’s financial institutions back into the international system after their years’ long experience of dealing with, and circumventing, sanctions.
Automakers tell Britain auto jobs could be lost if the UK leaves the EU
By Sara Lewis, in Brussels With a June 23 date set for Britain to hold an in-out referendum on UK membership of the European Union (EU), the European car industry has made it clear it wants British voters to keep their country within the 28-member state bloc.
Four top automaker executives have rejected Brexit (British exit from the EU) by adding their names to a letter from business leaders to the London-based The Times newspaper, flagging up the EU’s benefits.
Lebanon's car sector: the downward shift
By Paul Cochrane, in Beirut
Going by overall figures of new cars sold, the automotive sector is doing surprisingly well in the current economic environment, up 4.33 percent in the first eight months of the year on 2012, and in comparative terms, above the GDP forecast of 1.6 percent for 2013. Furthermore, the figures are up on last year’s August results, which grew by 7.6 percent on 2011, and the 2.1 percent growth reported in the same period in 2010. But the sector is far from being in good health and bucking the downward trend in much of the rest of the economy.
EBRD mulls loan to Ukraine graphite electrode maker
By Keith Nuthall, in Ottawa
The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) is planning to lend USD26 million to a Ukrainian manufacturer of graphite electrodes for electric steel and electric-arc furnaces – Ukrgrafit. A memorandum from the bank said that the loan would fund reconstructing and modernising its manufacturing facilities and introducing energy efficient technologies. Ukrgrafit is the only Ukraine manufacturer of graphite electrodes for electric steel, electric-arc furnaces and other uses in the steel, aluminium, magnesium and titanium industries, noted the EBRD.
Singapore accountants look for opportunity in economic adversity
By Heather Tan, in Singapore
The wealthy city state of Singapore seems to have glided through the global financial crisis, but the country only narrowly avoided recession and this slowdown has affected its important accounting sector. GDP growth in Singapore grew in 2012 was projected to be 1.2%, down from 4.9% the previous year.
Lee Kin Wai, assistant professor of accounting at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University business school explained to Accounting & Business magazine that economic uncertainty makes companies reluctant to share as much data as they might in more stable times.
Parliament Hill's ravens should return
By Keith Nuthall, in Ottawa
Ravens that live in the Tower of London fly away, then the British monarchy will fall. What does this say, then about Canada’s own political talisman – the stray cats of Parliament Hill? For these indomitable semi-feral mousers, for decades parliament’s unpaid rat catchers – were given their marching orders this winter.