July - September 1 9 9 9
Residential quarters regain life

The Saifi neighborhood, with a Saifi Village building to the left

    Residential quarters in the city center are coming back to life, as both restored and newly built housing become available for occupation. The new
Saifi Village structures, now well in place, blend in height and architectural style with the restored buildings in this traditional neighborhood. Their pastel coloring will also be in harmony with the palette used in the entire quarter.
Work is proceeding inside the apartments, according to the high-quality interior design by Michel Harmouch. Gentle landscaping will add to the charm of this residential environment.
    Saifi Village is eliciting serious interest. Aware of the convenience and comfort afforded in 16-building, 137-unit development, a number of prospective occupants have already booked their flats as tenants, or buyers, or tenants with an option to buy. (Details are described in a SOLIDERE brochure, also available for viewing on the website www.solidere.com.lb, under Publications.)
    Restored housing is also meeting success. Faculty and staff from the American Community School (ASC) have moved into a SOLIDERE Zokak El Blatt building. Two residential buildings are gradually being occupied in Saifi. Design has started on a heritage house leased by SOLIDERE in Wadi Abou Jamil. The tenant, Mr. Anthony Tannouri, intends to house his art collection in the mansion after restoration.

Zokak El Blatt building, where most apartments are already occupied.

Interior of a restored apartment
in the Saifi neighborhood

More Businesses in the city center

    Beirut city center will welcome in October the World Bank's permanent Beirut office, which will be lodged in UN House. In other developments, the Libano-Arab Insurance building in Saifi has been taken over by the Lebanese Bankers' Association, to serve as prestige headquarters. The Al Hayat daily newspaper is moving its premises in November to three floors in a beautifully restored Maarad Street building, purchased from SOLIDERE by Al Makshaff sal, also member of Al Hayat group.
    A variety of establishments opened their doors this quarter in a functioning and increasingly busy city center. They range from financial institutions to business or professional services, shops, restaurants and cafés, bookstores
and art galleries.

    Ericsson is establishing its regional office in the city center.
Reuters, Microsoft, DHL, Federal Express and Bang & Olufsen (B&O) are among international  businesses moving there. Financial Fund Advisors and Ark Holding are joining other financial institutions which have preceded them downtown. Other newcomers include Henry Torbey law offices, Bassile Rabbat trading, Isticharat for computer supplies and Millenium, a real estate company.
    Foch-Allenby's cobblestone streets offer a pleasant  setting for shoppers, with outlets including Kamishibai and IF clothing boutiques, Meta (children's clothes), Geahchan Bros, Michel Semaan, Adel Saadeh, Ohanessian and Kitsch gifts shops, in addition to Prime Reality, Claire Chevolleau's art gallery and the Irish City Pub. Retail activity has also picked up elsewhere in the city center. Maya Philippides' antiques shop has opened in the Maarad area. The Librairie Du Liban bookstore has re-established itself near Riad El Solh Square, in the Lazarieh building, where the GFF and Friends shops are open. Librairie du Foyer is in the Saifi neighborhood. Planet Hollywood has already started operating, Casper & Gambini's is to follow by mid-October, and several other restaurants by year end. ABC department store has announced its reopening, and le Cercle Hitti furniture gallery is opening in the year 2000.
Performance of the shares during the 3rd quarter

    After an initial decline at the beginning of the quarter, SOLIDERE shares 
  stabilized around the $7 level on improved breadth. Since their initial drop
  below par early February, both shares managed to stay above the $6
7/8 level
  on renewed buying interest. Share A ended the quarter at its low of $6
representing a 16.6% fall compared to the previous quarter closing price.
  Share B closed at $7
1/4, 15.9% below the previous quarter closing price.
  The breadth of the market was decisively positive, however, as buy volume
  outnumbered sell volume by a 9 to 5 ratio.

Share price (US dollars)      Trading volume