Lebanon’s Bourse witnessed a downturn this week just ahead of the Christmas holidays. This was mirrored by a 1.49% weekly slip of the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) to 1,206.64 points. Still, the latest political breakthroughs regarding the election of a president and the cabinet formation, managed to extend the BSI’s year-to-date gain to 3.17%.
However, the average traded volume this week rose from 136,987 shares to 157,199 shares, while the average traded value decreased from $2.13M to $1.95M. As for market capitalization, it decreased from $10.30B last week to $10.15B.
On the regional level, the BSI fared better than the Morgan Stanley (MSCI) Emerging Markets, which registered a 1.88% weekly decline. Still, the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap and the S&P AFE40 indices outperformed the Lebanese gauge, after recording weekly rises of 0.19%, and 0.07%, respectively.
In the Arab world, the Egyptian bourse ranked first this week with the EGX 30 adding 9.66% to hit an 8-Year High. This could be partly attributed to the currency floating that boosted inflows of foreign currency and encouraged foreign trading. Qatar and Bahrain’s bourses also revealed positive performances with respective rises of 1.99% and 0.85% in their indices. Besides the Lebanese bourse, stock markets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait were this week’s worst performers as their indices respectively lost 1.04%, 0.59% and 0.48%.
The banking sector constituted the largest share of trades this week, with 80.19% out of the total value traded on the Lebanese Bourse. In details, BLOM listed shares and Byblos common shares registered respective rises of 0.95% and 1.18% to close at $10.65 and $1.71. However, Audi GDRs and BLOM GDRs dropped by a weekly 3.70% and 1.28% to $6.50 and $10.81, respectively.
As for the preferred shares, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) fell by a weekly 0.09% to 105.25 points, where Audi preferred “F” and “H” shares lost 0.87% and 0.68% to $102.10 and $102.30, respectively. Similarly, Byblos preferred 2008 shares and BEMO preferred 2013 shares witnessed weekly drops of 0.10% and 0.35% to $101.30 and $99.65, respectively. In contrast, Bank of Beirut preferred “J” shares and BLOM Bank preferred 2011 shares added 0.96% and 2.00% to end this week at the respective prices of $26.25 and $10.20.
In the real estate sector which constituted 19.21% of the total weekly traded value, Solidere A and Solidere B shares shed 7.52% and 6.89% over the week to $10.57 and $10.54, respectively, due to the profit taking trades and some investors rebalancing their portfolios.
In the industrial sector, and knowing that the company reduced its capital in Mid-November, HOLCIM shares fell by 1.92% to $12.75.
On the London Stock Exchange, Solidere and Audi GDRs registered respective losses of 3.18% and 0.31% to stand at $10.65 and $6.43, respectively.
Trading activity may slow down in the upcoming week, ahead of New Year’s holidays. However, performance of the Beirut Stock Exchange may improve at the beginning of 2017 on investors’ hopes regarding the upcoming year and the fourth quarter financial results of the Lebanese banks.