The Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) recorded during the last week of 2016 a positive performance boosted by stronger banking stocks. In fact, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) added 0.5% to 1,212.73 points. This was reflected by a widening market capitalization from $10.15B last week to $10.20B.
Similarly, the average traded volume over this week’s four sessions rose to 375,219 shares worth $3.64M, up from last week’s average of 157,199 shares worth $1.95M.
On the regional level, the BSI revealed the slowest weekly gain compared to the Morgan Stanley (MSCI) Emerging Markets, the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap and the S&P AFE40 indices, which rose by 2.0%, 3.64% and 1.05%, respectively.
In the Arab world, the Egyptian bourse was the only bourse to record a marginal slip of 0.61% over the past week. In contrast, the week’s best performers were Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia after registering respective weekly rises of 2.47%, 1.8% and 1.73%.
The banking sector constituted the largest share of trades this week, with 83% out of the total value traded on the Lebanese Bourse. In details, BLOM GDRs and the common shares of Audi and BEMO registered respective rises of 1.76%, 4.62% and 6.25% to close at $11.00, $6.80 and $1.70. However, Byblos and BLOM listed shares dropped by weekly 0.58% and 0.47% to $1.70 and $10.60, respectively.
As for the preferred shares, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) added a weekly 0.06% to 105.31 points, where Audi preferred “F” and “G” shares increased by 0.39% and 0.20% to $102.50 and $102.20, respectively. In contrast, BEMO preferred 2013 shares and BLOM Bank preferred 2011 shares decreased by 0.40% and 0.98% to end this week at respective prices of $99.25 and $10.10.
Profit taking trades and investors rebalancing their portfolios led to another week of negative performance in the real estate sector, which constituted 16.96% of the total weekly traded value. In details, Solidere A and Solidere B shares lost 1.80% and 0.38% over the week to $10.38 and $10.50, respectively.
In the industrial sector, HOLCIM shares fell from $12.75 last week to $11.75. In contrast, Ciments Blancs bearer shares rose from $2.72 last week to $3.25.
On the London Stock Exchange, Solidere GDRs registered a loss of 6.1% to stand at $10.00. However, BLOM and Audi GDRs added 0.46% and 1.09% to $10.90 and $6.50, respectively.
Positive vibes associated with the upcoming year were mainly behind this week’s improving performance. Trading activity could maintain its ascending trend ahead of the fourth quarter financial results of the Lebanese banks.