The Beirut Stock Exchange saw disparate performance over the week’s five sessions to settle in positive ground by the end of Friday’s session. This could be partly due to the positive vibes stemmed from the release of the Lebanese banks’ robust financial statements. In this context, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) hovered between a lower band of 1,156 and an upper band of 1,159, ending the week 0.52% higher at 1,159.14 points. Accordingly, the BSI narrowed its year to date loss to 0.9%. Yet, the average traded volume this week stood at 116,653 shares worth $1.15M compared to 334,556 shares valued at $2.25M recorded last week. The market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange increased over the past week from $9.52B to $9.57B.
In line with the dovish trend of the greenback this week, global and regional equity markets partly recovered this week on fading expectations of the Fed raising interest rates this year. In fact, the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large-Mid-Cap Index, the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) and the S&P AFE 40 Index posted respective gains of 3.24%, 2.40% and 4.49%.
Furthermore, regional bourses, and mostly in oil-exporting Arab countries, saw a positive week on partially recovering oil prices and some positive 2015’s financial results. Dubai and Abu Dhabi were the biggest winners as they recorded respective weekly gains of 7.04% and 5.89%. Similarly, Qatar, Muscat, Kuwait and Egypt saw respective weekly upturns of 4.44%, 4.46%, 3.75% and 3.60%. In fact, the Egyptian bourse witnessed the return of foreign investors to the market after their fading confidence that marked the beginning of the year.
On the Beirut Stock Exchange, the banking sector accounted for 67.4% of the week’s traded value, while the real estate and industrial sectors respectively grasped 32.5% and 0.1% of the total.
In the banking sector, the listed shares of Audi, Byblos and Bank of Beirut (BoB) registered weekly increases of 0.33%, 0.61% and 3.30% to $6.10, $1.64 and $18.80, respectively. In addition, the Global Depository Receipts (GDR) of BLOM rose by a weekly 1.55% to settle at $9.80.
On another front, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) remained at last week’s level of 106.01 points as no price changes were recorded on the Lebanese preferred shares this week.
Mixed performance characterized the Lebanese real estate sector this week. While Solidere class “A” slipped by a weekly 0.39% to $10.15, the class “B” saw a 3.66% weekly progress to $10.47.
In the industrial sector, HOLCIM and Ciments Blancs Bearer shares decreased by 0.07% and 10.26% to end the week at respective quotes of $14.41 and $3.50.
As talks regarding the presidential elections are still in seesaw movement, the Lebanese stock market will reflect, in the coming weeks, any potential breakthrough in the political scene.