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French Version


Business news in brief

* Beirut ranks as world's 37th most expensive city

The 2004 survey on the cost of living in 144 cities around the world by global consultants Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranked Beirut as the 37th most expensive city worldwide and the 2nd most expensive among 15 cities surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Beirut was the 25th most expensive city worldwide and the most expensive in the region in the 2003 survey.

The study measured the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location.

These included the cost of housing, food, clothing and household goods, as well as transportation and entertainment,

New York City served as the benchmark for other cities with a score of 100. The survey is conducted annually to help multinational companies determine compensation allowances for their expatriate workers.

Beirut received a score of 84.3 points in 2004, up 0.5 percent from 83.9 points in 2003.

Its score came above the global average of 75.6 points and the MENA average of 75 points, according to Saradar Research.

On a global basis, Beirut ties with San Francisco, Luxemburg and Dusseldorf.

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* Lebanon to publish Arabic edition of BusinessWeek

An Arabic-language edition of the US financial weekly BusinessWeek will hit magazine stands in the autumn, Lebanon-based publishing company InfoPro Management said early this week.

Initial circulation for the Arabic version of the journal, which will appear monthly, will run to 25,000. It will be on sale in shops and by subscription, and eventually go on the market in 22 Arab countries, the company said.

"Editorial content will originate from various BusinessWeek editions in the US and abroad and will also include customized local content," it added.

The US-based magazine, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, has a global circulation of 1.2 million. Foreign-language editions are already published in China, Poland and Indonesia.

InfoPro publishes 11 titles, including Lebanese Opportunities and operates several websites.

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* Arabia Insurance releases financial statements

Arabia Insurance Company has released its audited financial statements (Life & Non-Life) for the year 2003, showing that total assets increased by 5 percent, rising from LL254 billion in 2002 to LL267 billion in 2003.

Shareholders' equity also increased by 10 percent, from LL107.6 billion in 2002 to LL119 billion in 2003. Net income registered a strong boost of 33 percent, rising from LL9.9 billion in 2002 to LL13.2 billion in 2003.

Additionally, the board of directors recommended distribution of dividends to shareholders that are 28 percent higher than dividends paid in 2002.

Beirut 28-06-2004
Redaction
The Daily Star



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