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Immediate Release – The Lebanon Report 2017
Two companies in our sample are active in the Industrial Manufacturing sector, Holcim Liban S.A.L and Société Libanaise des Ciments Blancs S.A.L. Holcim is an international company with headquarters in Switzerland. When reviewing their main website, we nd that the company discloses 77 percent – or a rating of B++ in the Very Good range – of the 101 GIR indicators and represents a more complex understanding of corporate governance practices. The disclosure behavior of the group’s unit in Lebanon differs significantly from Holcim group practices as Holcim Liban, which provides practically no information about their activities and governance in the country. Holcim Liban covers a mere 9 percent or F score.
The same observation, but in yet slightly sharper form, applies to Société Libanaise des Ciments Blancs, which is majority owned by Holcim Liban. This company has the questionable distinction of disclosing no information to its stakeholders online.
Holcim Liban S.A.L received 9 percent on its GIR disclosure, 33 percent in Audit and 29 percent of financial- related information under the category Financial Transparency. It failed to disclose information in the categories Shareholder Rights, Integrity and BMSP.
These results do raise questions regarding the engagement of multi-national firms in Lebanon and the obvious application of double standards when it comes to corporate governance. Holcim’s activities regarding corporate governance remind us that the Swiss, as well as the Lebanese regulator, have an important role to play in making sure that companies comply with the same standards across their subsidiaries and investments.
In Lebanon, it is the mandate of the BSE and the CMA to enforce stringent corporate governance standards. The practices of Holcim Liban and Société Libanaise des Ciments Blancs reveal BSE’s and CMA’s challenges in strengthening their regulation beyond the financial industry.
|Holcim Liban S.A.L||Société Libanaise des Ciments Blancs S.A.L|
For more information, please contact:
Farah Abou Salem
+961 1 991911
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Since 2004, Capital Concept has been advising companies in the Middle East and North Africa region on corporate governance. Through its alliance with leading international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), as well as through close relationships with regional central banks and capital market regulators, Capital Concept assists clients in implementing best in class corporate governance standards. In April 2013, Capital Concept became the first corporate governance advisory firm recognized by Lebanon’s central bank, Banque du Liban (BDL), to review the banking sector in Lebanon and the MENA region.
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