Lebanon's Biggest Companies
Lebanon has a diverse and growing economy that has a particularly important and large banking sector. The conservative approach of Lebanon's banks helped them to cope well with the global economic crisis and Lebanon was one of just seven countries in the world to experience a rise in their stock market during 2008. Lebanon's GDP is currently growing steadily at about 7 percent. In addition to its thriving financial sector, Lebanon is experiencing growth in a number of other areas, including tourism.
Lebanon has a strong commercial tradition, with a competitive free market that is attractive for many large companies. The country is home to regional branches and offices of hundreds of international companies, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft and General Electric. Lebanon has approximately a million native workers, but there are also about one and a half million foreign workers in the country.
The largest bank in Lebanon is the Bank Audi Saradar, which is also known as the Audi Saradar group. It operates predominantly in Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world, including both the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to its banking and investment services, it operates an insurance business through its subsidiary LIA Insurance Sal. The company has its origins in 1830, but it has only existed in its current form since 1962.
Solidere is the largest real estate and construction company in Lebanon. Solidere is a 2 billion dollar company whose importance to Lebanon and to the Lebanese economy has been huge since it has been involved with the reconstruction of Beirut's central business district after it was damaged during the civil war. Solidere was created in 1994 and it enjoys a unique relationship with the government of Lebanon, as a type of public private partnership. Solidere is believed to be largely responsible for Lebanon's recovery after the civil war and therefore for its current economic success. Its development shave included the Beirut Souks mall, Platinum Tower, the Marina Towers and the Hadiqat As-Samah or Garden of Forgiveness.
Lebanon's important port at Beirut is operated by International Port Management or IPM. Beirut is Lebanon's main port, located in the country's capital and it is also one of the largest, busiest ports in the Eastern Mediterranean. Middle East Airlines or MEA is the largest air carrier in Lebanon. It is an international airline that flies to many countries around the world, including the US, the UK and many Arab countries.
INDEVCO is one of the largest manufacturing companies in Lebanon, with nearly 50 subsidiary companies that primarily produce packaging and paper products. It owns more than 30 manufacturing plants in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the US and the UK, as well as 20 commercial companies, and it has more than 7500 employees around the world.
MEDCO, the Mediterranean Oil Shipping and Transport Company, is one of Lebanon's largest companies. It is involved in the oil industry, producing both energy and fuel. MEDCO has more than 250 service stations in Lebanon. The company was incorporated in 1969, but it can trace its origins back to Ets Georges N Chammas in 1910.
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