The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) recorded its largest weekly uptick of 1.56% since the resignation crisis early-on in November. As such, the BSI kept on recovering to reach 1,136.40 points on Dec.15, 2017. This could be partly supported by the government awarding the gas exploration license to a consortium of companies this week and the promising prospects of future exploration potentially drove the optimism on the Beirut Stock Exchange.
Accordingly, the market capitalization reached $10.35B this Friday, up from last week’s $10.19B.
In fact, an average of 755,665 shares worth $7M was traded during the week compared to 72,226 shares worth $913,195 traded in the week ending December 8th.
Regionally, all three major equity indices improved. In details, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 1.88% over the week. Similarly, the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index as well as the S&P AFE40 registered respective weekly upticks of 0.80% and 0.77% by Dec.14th.
The largest gainers of the week in the Arab world were the stock markets of Kuwait and Lebanon which respectively recorded growth rates of 1.5% and 0.27%.
Meanwhile, the week’s biggest losers were the bourses of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia which fell by 1.43% and 0.26%, respectively.
On the BSE, the real estate stocks accounted for 58.28% of the total traded value, while the banking and industrial sectors grasped the remaining shares of 24.12% and 17.6%, respectively.
In the real estate sector, Solidere A shares grew by a weekly 2.02% to $8.10, while Solidere B’s shares recorded an uptick of 0.25% to $7.93 by the end of the week.
In the banking sector, BLOM Bank’s GDR and listed shares rose by weekly 5.58% and 2.26%, to $12.30 and $11.31, respectively. Similarly, AUDI Bank’s GDR and Listed shares registered upticks of 1.96% and 2.5% to $5.71 and $5.74, respectively, this week. Meanwhile, Byblos Listed shares declined by 2.5% to stand at $1.56 per share.
In the industrial sector, HOLCIM’s shares retreated by 0.28% to $14.46 this week, whereas the nominal shares of Ciments Blancs gained 4.17% over the week to close at $2.25.
On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM Bank’s GDR shares and Audi Bank GDRs increased by 8.33% and 3.64%, to reach $12.35 and $5.70, respectively.
As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it recorded a weekly increase of 0.13% to $105.42 on the back of Audi Pref H shares recording a 0.2% weekly uptick to $100.60, while Audi Pref I shares slipped by 0.10% to $100 by the end of the week.
Overall, the BSI’s improvement over the week has most probably reflected the positive sentiment spurred mainly from the Cabinet’s granting of licenses to companies for oil and gas exploration. Nonetheless, negotiating the technical offers on the matter, as well as the implementation of the salary scale law remain to be seen in the upcoming period. Moreover, the activity on the stock market is expected to slow down with the approach of Christmas and New Year’s holidays.