Beirut’s Bourse Closes Positive this Week, Recovering Some of its Previous Losses

It seems that the Brexit failed to impact the Lebanese Stock Market as the latter advanced this week after two weeks of negative performance. This was translated by a 0.61% weekly increase in the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) level to 1,149.71 points mainly lifted by the financial stocks. Moreover, the activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) improved from the previous week, with the daily average volume and value of trades rising from 110,481 shares worth $687,264 last week to 127,192 shares worth $1.07M this week. As for the market capitalization, it rose from $9.43B last week to $9.49B.

On the regional front, numerous indices outpaced the Lebanese gauge and recorded weekly gains such as the Morgan Stanley emerging index (MSCI) that edged up 4.46%. Similarly, the S&P AFE40 and the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index rose by weekly 1.00% and 0.69%, respectively.

Arab bourses saw mixed weekly performance by the end of the week. Positive vibes deriving from a potential merger between National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank partly boosted Abu Dhabi’s stock market activity this week. The Emirate’s general index rose 4.11% from the previous week, ranking first amongst its regional peers. Dubai and Qatar followed with respective weekly gains of 1.81% and 1.78%.

In contrast, Egypt’s bourse recorded the worst performance for the second week in a row due to the Central Bank’s tightening monetary policy. In this context, the index lost 2.25% this week following a previous 4.33% weekly drop.

Lebanese banks were the main market movers this week, accounting for 94.47% of the total value traded. In details, Bank Audi listed and GDR shares added 2.50% and 1.67% to settle at $6.15 and $6.10, respectively. Similarly, BLOM Bank listed shares increased by a weekly 0.10% to $10.01, while Byblos common shares recorded a 2.40% weekly loss to $1.63.

As for the BLOM preferred shares index (BPSI), it inched 0.06% up to 104.25 points. In fact, each of Bank of Beirut’s preferred shares classes “I”, “H” and “J” increased by a similar 0.99% to also converge at the same price of $25.50. In addition, the preferred shares of Bank Audi class “F” added 0.10% to $100.30. However, the preferred shares of Audi class “G”, BLOM class 2011 and BLC class “B” lost 0.30%, 0.79% and 0.99% to $100.00, $10.02 and $100.00, respectively.

On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM and Audi GDRs added weekly 1.48% and 1.69% to end Thursday’s session at $10.30 and $6.00, respectively. In contrast, the GDRs of Solidere lost 1.92% to $9.19.

Real estate stocks recovered some of last week’s losses when rumors of a potential security incident in the Downtown area of Beirut were spread. As a result, Solidere shares classes “A” and “B”, grasping a shy stake of 5.53% of total weekly traded value, added 1.30% and 3.20% to $9.37 and $9.34, respectively.

The Beirut Stock Exchange activity remained weak by Friday despite the slow improvement that reflects slightly calmer sentiments following last week’s security incident. Looking ahead, investors are expected to remain reactive to the upcoming events especially that the Lebanese Cabinet will be holding two sessions next week.


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