A
- Advertising Agencies
- Architects


B
- Banks


C
- Car Dealers
- Car Rental
- Casinos
- Commerce
- Consulting
- Cosmetology
- Craft


D
- Data Processing &
Computer Systems
- Decoration &
Furnishing


E
- Editing
- Elementary Schools
- Engineering &
Contracting
- Environment / Waste
Management Services
- Express Delivery


F
- Fashion
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Furnished Apartments


H
- Health / Beauty
- Higher & Vocational
Training
- Home Appliances
- Hotels 3
- Hotels 4(A)
- Hotels 4(B)
- Hotels 5
- Hotel & Restaurant
Amenities


I
- Industry
- Insurance
- Interior Design /
Decoration
- Internet


J
- Jewelleries


L
- Lighting
- Luxury


M
- Media
- Music


O
- Office Equipment /
Electronics
- Oriental Carpets
- Outside Decoration


P
- Printing
- Promotional Materials


R
- Real Estate
- Recruitment
- Restaurants


S
- Sanitary Wares
- Security
- Services
- Sweets


T
- Taxi
- Telecommunication &
Mobile Phones
- Transport
- Travel Agencies
- Technical Studies


W
- Watches
- Water Treatment










 


 

Back to archives Back to news
French Version


Foreign investors focus on Lebanese property

Tense political situation discourages investment in other sectors

The head of the Investment Development Authority for Lebanon (IDAL), Nabil Itani, said Monday that foreign direct investment (FDI) and property purchases by foreigners in Lebanon rose to nearly $3 billion in 2007 from $2.3 billion in 2006. "Most of the $3 billion investments were in the real-estate sector and this is not considered an FDI," Itani told The Daily Star in an exclusive interview Monday.

The disclosure came one day after Saudi newspaper Al-Watan claimed that the oil rich kingdom withdrew $4.8 billion of direct investments from Lebanon over the past two years.

But Itani stressed that some of the Arab and foreign investments in 2007 concentrated in prime properties in Beirut.

"Some of the properties rose by 50 percent in value in some parts of Beirut and that's explains the surge in property investments last year," Itani said.

He added that the oil boom in the Gulf region has induced many property owners in Beirut to increase the price of the real estates to amazing levels.

However, Itani said that FDI, or investments in job creating projects, did not see a considerable increase in 2007.

"The investments which came through IDAL, for example, rose slightly to $127 million from $123 million in 2006 - a year marked by an Israeli war on Lebanon," Itani said.

He added that FDI through IDAL in 2005 reached $550 million despite the assassination that year of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Properties in Lebanon have always attracted the interest of Gulf Arab investors looking for ways to channel part of the massive liquidity that was generated from the oil boom in the region.

Brokers say the prices of properties varied between one area and another.

"In some parts of Beirut, the prices of properties surged by 50 percent or more while in other parts of the country the prices remained stable," one broker told the paper.

Itani said that the tense political situation in Lebanon is not encouraging Arab investors to make more commitments in Lebanon in the future.

"The election of a new president ... will send a positive message to investors but if the situation remained the same then investments will definitely not flow here," Itani said.

IDAL saw increasing interest in the industrial and agro-food industries in Lebanon in 2007.

But economist Marwan Iskandar warned that investors will shun Lebanon in 2008 if the political crisis persisted.

"You can't expect investors to rush to Lebanon while the opposition forces are still staging a sit in at the heart of the capital," Iskandar said.

He added that the provocative speeches by the politicians are scaring away investors.

Iskandar said that thanks to the donor countries that flooded billions of dollars into Lebanon, the country was able to record a surplus in the balance of payments in 2007.

Brokers said that some of the wealthy Lebanese expatriates have made significant investments in properties in Beirut over the past two years.

"We know for sure that some of the properties in Achrafieh and the Corniche were sold for hefty prices last year," one broker said.

Economist Ghazi Wazneh denied that Arab investors have relinquished their investments in Lebanon in 2007 and 2006.

"We may have lost new commitments for investments but we surely did not see an outflow of capital," Wazneh said.

Citing some official statistics, Wazneh said that Lebanon attracted nearly $2.5 billion of Arab investments in 2007 that were mainly concentrated in real estate.

"Lebanon did fairly better than many Arab countries in terms of inter-Arab investments in 2007," he said.

However, Wazneh cautioned that Lebanon may lose as much as $3 billion in direct investments in 2008 if the political deadlock remained.

Beirut 26-02-2008
Redaction
The Daily Star



BUSINESS
INFORMATION
Business News
Business Forum
Business Opportunities
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Currency Exchange Rates
Context
GENERAL
INFORMATION
Geography
Some Marks
To see in Lebanon
FIRST LEBANON
INFORMATION
Media of 1stlebanon
Impact of 1stlebanon
Add your company
Press Book
WEBSITE SELECTION
Flowers delivery Lebanon
Flowers delivery Dubai
Oriental food specialty
Lebanese wine
Real estate agency Beirut
Hotel Hamra-Beirut
Car rental
Beirut-Lebanon
Rent a car lebanon
Reservation for your travel in Lebanon
Association des français de l'étranger
-section Liban
Diamond jewelry Lebanon
Jewelry manufacturer Lebanon
Jewelry watches-Swiss made watches
Diamond Swiss watches
Modern and comtemporary jewelry
Byzantine & Phoenician jewelry
Jewelry creation
Oriental, classical and traditional decoration
Hand made furniture
Construction management Lebanon
Projects development
Shoes manufacturer and distributor Lebanon
Sole agent of Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Web development
Web marketing
Printing press services
Paper products
Insurance company Lebanon
Insurance Lebanon
Rent villas France
Hotels all over Syria
Hotel management company
University Lebanon
Arab Media News