The Distribution of Key Ministerial Posts and the Naturalization Decree Weighed Down on the BSI this Week 

The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) lost a weekly 1.37% this week, to reach 1,086.42 points by June 8, 2018. The market capitalization however shrank marginally from last week’s $10.86B to $10.71B this week.

An average of 373,866 shares worth $2.18M were traded on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) this week, compared to 166,648 shares worth $1.53M last week.

The main regional indices traced all recorded upticks over the past week. In details, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index grew by a weekly 2.58%, while the S&P AFE 40 and the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index rose by 2.44% and 2.19%, respectively.

The bourse of Qatar was the top gainer, adding 3.73% over the week, as buying interests were mainly oriented towards telecom, insurance and consumer goods. Moreover, the financial markets of Abu Dhabi and Dubai also made it on this week’s top gainers’ list, as they climbed by 1.89% and 1.84%, respectively. Meanwhile, the market’s top loser was the Egyptian stock market which shed 4.81% over the week, owing it to investors’ concerns regarding potential public uprisings being driven by Egypt’s new energy subsidy cuts set to be introduced this July.

On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) this week, the banking sector grasped the largest share of the total traded value, with 94.44%, while the real estate sector and industrial sector grasped the remaining 3.83% and 1.73%, respectively.

In the banking sector, BLOM’s GDR shares and BLOM Bank Listed shares lost 1.11% and 2.33% to end the week at $10.70 and $10.50, respectively. Likewise, Bank Audi’s GDR shares and listed shares decreased by a 0.36% and 3.21% to reach $5.58 and $5.42 respectively.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it fell by 0.01% over the week to 100.03 points. In details, the drop is attributed to the 1.17% weekly drop in the shares of Bank Audi Pref I to $96.85. The decline outpaced the 0.60% and 1.05% rise in Bank of Beirut Pref H and Byblos Pref 2009 to $25.15 and $96, respectively.  

On the London Stock Exchange, Bank Audi GDR shares increased by a weekly 2.88%, to end the week at $5.35.

In the real estate sector, Solidere A and B shares recorded respective losses of 1.58% and 1.82% to end the week at $8.12 and $8.10 respectively.

In the manufacturing sector, Holcim Liban shares increased by 3.79% to reach $15.60.

During the past week, political bickering over key ministerial portfolios continued, alongside the uproar driven by the passed naturalization decree. However, rigorous political negotiations are expected to carry key developments on the national scene starting June 11th, concerning the formation of a cabinet that captures a national consensus. Updates on the decree and ministerial posts are expected to define the performance of the BSE in the coming period.

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