Lebanese Bourse Ended the Year on a High Note

The Beirut Stock Exchange revealed an improvement in performance during the last two weeks, on the back of some gains experienced in the real estate sectorand despite a frail activity.  The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) gained 1.24% to end the year at 1,169.52 points, illustrating a minor 0.06% year-to-date downtick. The average traded volume regressed from 410,387 shares to 113,779 shares while the average traded value declined from $2.60M to $852,196M this week.  As for the market capitalization, it widened from $9.60B two weeks ago to $9.72B this week.

Furthermore, the BSI outperformed its regional peers during the festive period, as the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large-Mid-Cap Index, the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI), and the S&P AFE 40 Index lost 0.43%, 0.89% and 0.06%, respectively.

Performances on most Arab bourses, illustrated some gains throughout the last two weeks.  The biggest winning Arab stock market was Egypt with a weekly increase of 5.30% followed by a 4.88% and 2.87% ascent for Qatar bourse and Abu Dhabi bourse, respectively.

The only losers were Saudi Arabia and Kuwait stock exchanges, declining by 2.25% and 0.44%, respectively.

Back to the Beirut Stock Exchange, the banking sector captured 63.10% of the total traded value during 2 weeks, noting that the real estate sector grasped 35.69% while the industrial sector took-up a marginal 1.21%.

In the banking sector, listed shares of BLOM and Audi declined, during the two week period, by 0.11% and 0.17% to close the year at $9.40 and $6.05, respectively. In contrast, BLOM GDRs increased by 0.21%to $9.75 while the GDRs of Audi fell by 0.99% to $6.00. Bank of Beirut common shares saw a 1.08% improvement in their share price, over the festive season, to $18.80.

As for the performance of preferred shares, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) slightly ticked up by 0.08% to 105.84. This was mainly due to Audi preferred shares class “F increasing by 0.20% to $101.70 while Audi preferred shares class “G” and Byblos preferred shares 2008 declined by respective levels of 0.10% and 0.30% to $101.00 and $101.20. Worth mentioning, Bank of Beirut preferred shares class “E” were redeemed, in which their last trading session coincided with that final trading session in the year of the Lebanese bourse.

In the real estate sector, Solidere shares class “A ”and “B”, progressed in the past two weeks, by 8.33% and 6.03% to end the year at $11.06 and $11.07, respectively.

In the industrial sector, Holcim shares declined by 0.55% to $14.52.

Looking ahead, activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange is expected to maintain the upward trend with investors eyeing a potential political breakthrough regarding the election of a new parliament.




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