The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) lost 1.28% to stand at 936.9points, on a very thin volume, by the week ending Feb.08th 2019, while the market capitalization slipped from last week’s $9.25B to $9.13B to this week.
In fact, trading activity was limited on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) this week such that an average of 33,974 shares worth $181,303 were traded this week, compared to an average of 58,742 shares worth $415,815 traded in the previous week. This does not really reflect the market sentiments but is rather an indicator that investors are adopting a wait-and-see approach.
Regionally, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index registered an incremental downtick of 0.76% over the week, while the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index and the S&P AFE 40 recorded marginal upticks of 0.21% and 0.09%, respectively.
In the Arab World, the bourses of Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain were the week’s top gainers adding 4.74%, 2.14% and 1.84%, respectively. Meanwhile, the stock markets of Qatar, Lebanon, and Tunisia were the biggest losers, registering the respective declines of 1.69%, 1.28%, and 0.82% by the week ending Feb. 08th.
On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), the real estate sector grasped 60.64% of the total trading value over the week while the banking sector captured the remaining share of 39.4% of total trading.
In the real estate sector, Solidere A and B shares fell by 7.45% and 8.10% to stand at $6.21 and $6.01, respectively, which is partly a correction of last week’s respective upticks of 4.52% and 2.67% following the formation of a government. However, it is worthy to mention that the traded volume of Solidere A and B this week stood at an average of 87,392 shares, compared to last week’s 154,788 shares, and this may also explain this week’s decline in the share prices.
In the banking sector, BLOM Bank’s GDR shares, BLOM Listed shares, and Byblos Listed shares registered weekly downticks of 0.11%, 1.22% and 0.74% to stand at $8.88, $8.94 and $1.35, respectively.
As for the Blom Preferred shares Index (BPSI), it slipped by 0.29%, closing the week at 86.37 points on the account of a 0.06% decrease in Audi Bank’s preferred shares “H” and a 2.78% decline in Byblos Preferred 2008 shares over the week, to end the week at $86.95 and $70, respectively.
On the London Stock Exchange, Audi GDR shares fell by 1.25% over the week to $4.74.
Trading activity remained cautious in the week following the announcement of the Lebanese government formation as investors await further achievement on the needed economic reforms for the country. Nevertheless, the new government successfully and swiftly agreed on a policy statement this Thursday, knowing that it entails a number of promising economic reforms. This may pave the way for improved trade activity on BSE as the statement awaits a vote of confidence from Parliament in the coming week.