The Lebanese Bourse Reached this Week an 8-Month High

Lebanese equities maintained their strength during this week’s four sessions with the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) gaining 0.57% to close at 1,184.73 points. This gain was relatively on improving volume as the average volume of traded shares from last week’s level of 79,224 worth $602,145 to 81,366 shares worth $691,984 by the end of this week. With the index reaching a 38-week high and widening its year-to-date gain to 1.30%, market capitalization went up from $9.724B last week to $9.779B.

The Lebanese index fared better than most of its regional peers. In fact, the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large-Mid-Cap Index and the S&P AFE 40 recorded weekly gains of 0.17% and 0.02%, respectively. In addition, the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) lost a weekly 3.29% to 809.29 points.

On a relative scale, the BSI ranked amongst the best three performers in the Arab markets and was only outpaced by Muscat and Dubai’s bourses, which respectively registered weekly gains of 2.60% and 0.91%.  In contrast, Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi were the biggest losers of the week, recording respective weekly losses of 2.04%, 1.22% and 0.88%.

On the Beirut Stock Exchange, the banking sector accounted for 77.74% of total traded value, while the real estate sector contributed for the remaining share of 22.26%.

Financial sector’s stocks posted mixed performance this week. In details, the Global Depository Receipts (GDR) of BLOM and Audi declined by 0.92% and 0.83% to end the week at $10.80 and $6.00, respectively. However, the listed shares of Audi added 4.17% to settle at $6.25.

As for the preferred shares, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) recorded a mere 0.09% weekly rise to 106.36 points. This resulted from the 0.89% weekly uptick in the price of the preferred shares of Byblos class 08 to $102.50, which more than offset the 0.49% weekly slip in the price of BLC’s preferred stocks class “B” to $101.00.

On the London Stock Exchange, the GDR shares of Audi rose by 0.50% over the week to settle at $6.09. Solidere GDRs saw a correction movement this week as they decreased by 6.05% to $10.10, after having surged by 10.82% a week earlier.

In the real estate sector, Solidere stocks also witnessed disparate performance on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) with the “A” class dropping 0.60% to $9.98 and the class “B” adding 0.30% to $10.00.

In conclusion, the mixed activity witnessed on the Beirut Stock Exchange this week managed to conclude on a positive note. This was mainly due to the relatively quiet situation on the political scene and the approaching distributions of dividends for the year 2015 to the shareholders of Lebanon’s top banks.



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