The Quarterly J a n u a r y  -  M a r c h   1 9 9 9
Chairman's letter
It has been seven years since the vision of the Beirut Central District was proclaimed and translated into a master plan, less than five years since the inception of SOLIDERE, and four and a half years since the laying of the foundation stone for this monumental postwar reconstruction and urban development project.

The past year has contributed an important milestone in fulfilling our mission. By completing the infrastructure in the traditional BCD, we have realized, well ahead of schedule, one of the major deliverables of our agreement with the State.

This ushers in a new stage in the project: on 120 hectares of land representing two-thirds of the total planned BCD, the focus is shifting from land development to real estate development.

Dramatic advances in reclamation, clearing and protection are meanwhile paving the way for the development of a modern extension to the BCD on 61 hectares of land being reclaimed from the sea.

A large real estate business such as SOLIDERE could not remain immune to the repercussions of the crisis in the world capital markets, especially emerging markets, to which have been an oil-led regional recession and the slowdown of economic activity in Lebanon. However, our high asset base and low indebtedness will allow us to face cooler markets and stringer liquidity conditions, which we believe to be of a short-term nature.

SOLIDERE continues to be a robust company and its middle and long-term prospects are quite bright. Temporary setbacks are not stopping us from confidently leading the way towards realizing this most challenging project: developing the finest city center in the Middle East.

Nasser Chammaa,
Chairman and General Manager,
April 13, 1999