The Beirut Stock Exchange started the year in the red, on the back of the negative performance of the real estate sector. The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) dropped 1.87%, during the week, to stand at 1,147.63 points. The average traded volume and value regressed from 113,779 shares worth $852,196 to 67,941 shares worth $576,242 this week. As for the market capitalization, it narrowed from $9.72B last week to $9.47B this week.
However, the BSI was able to outperform its regional peers during this week, as the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large-Mid-Cap Index, the S&P AFE 40 Index, and the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) lost 6.69%, 6.65%, and 5.25%, respectively.
As for the Arab markets, Tunisia was the only bourse to end the week in the green, increasing by 3.52%.
Meanwhile major sell-off was experienced in the Arab’s equity market, due to the market turmoil in China and the recent slide in oil prices. Saudi Arabia was the worst performer dropping by 9.61%, after its fiscal deficit reached $87B in 2015, followed by Qatar and Dubai with respective declines of 6.05% and 5.25%, respectively.
Back to the Beirut Stock Exchange, the banking sector captured 58.89% of the total traded value during the past week, noting that the real estate sector grasped 40.94% while the industrial sector took-up the remaining 0.17%.
In the banking sector, BLOM listed shares and Byblos listed shares gained 0.53% and 0.62% to $9.45 and $1.62, respectively. Meanwhile, BLOM GDR shares lost 0.51% to $9.70.
As for the performance of preferred shares, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) marginally ticked up by 0.02% to 105.86 points. Audi preferred shares class “G” and BLC preferred shares class “B” gained 0.20% and 1.99% to $101.20 and $102.50, respectively.
In the real estate sector, Solidere shares class “A” and “B” plunged by 9.76% and 11.20% to end the week at $9.98 and $9.83, respectively.
In the industrial sector, Holcim shares declined 0.48% to $14.45.
Looking ahead, activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange may be distressed by the escalating political tension in the region. However, the financial results of the listed Lebanese banks, which are expected to be released during this month, might offset the negative vibes of the regional turmoil.