BLOM Stock Index Steady During Week on Thin Trading

The Lebanese stock market continued to keep its head above water despite the uncertainty on the political front and the terror attack that hit the Northeastern part of the country early in the week. This was reflected in the BLOM Stock Index’s maintenance of its performance, improving by a slight 0.12% over the week to 1,151.07 points. However, trading activity substantially decreased, as both average traded volume and average traded value displayed decreases of 44.08% and 45.87% to 71,131 and $578,306, respectively. Meanwhile, the BSI’s market cap moved from $9.49B last week to $9.56B on Friday.


Regionally, the BSI managed to outperform each of the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap, the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) and the S&P AFE 40, which registered drops of 0.96%, 0.16% and 1.07%, respectively.


The Lebanese bourse was the only Arab exchange to register an improvement in performance during the week. In details, the EGX 30, Egypt’s most important stock exchange lost 4.28% during the week to 6,942.52 points as Arab investors excessively sold their positions on Sunday and caused the index to decline by 5.54%. This activity could be linked to other positions held by Arab investors in European markets, which were severely hit as a result of the UK referendum. Dubai’s exchange witnessed a similar drop during the start of the week, but recovered afterwards to register a weekly decrease of 1.68%.


Lebanese banks captured a majority 75.17% of total traded volume during the week. In the banking sector, stocks displayed varying performances, as BLOM common shares and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) and Banque BEMO common shares each lost 0.69%, 1.00% and 14.29% to respective closing prices of $10.08, $9.91 and $1.50. In contrast, Bank Audi common shares and GDRs increased by 0.81% and 1.64% each to the same closing price of $6.20.


Meanwhile, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) remained at the same level of 104.25 points from the previous week, despite BEMO preferred 2013 shares losing 0.50% to close the week at $100.00.


Real estate stocks positively contributed to the index’s performance during the week, as Solidere class “B” shares improved 1.50% to $9.48, while Solidere “A” shares remained unchanged from last week’s closing of $9.37 per share.


On the London Stock Exchange, Solidere and Bank Audi GDRs experienced gains in price of 3.37% and 3.33% to $9.50 and $6.20, respectively. However, BLOM Bank GDRs shed 2.43% in value to end the week at $10.05.


Weak trading activity following the security incidents may extend as the stock market will be closed for Eid Al Fitr for two out of the five trading sessions in the upcoming week.

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