Sluggish Performance for the Lebanese Bourse This Week

During this week’s four trading sessions, the Lebanese bourse showed disparate performance ending the week on a negative note. Hence, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) dropped by 0.26% to settle at 1,150.51 points, widening its year-to-date loss to 1.6%. This was also translated in a frailer trading activity as witnessed by the slowing average traded volume that went from 173,379 shares worth $1.56M to 128,719 traded shares accounting for $898,943 by the end of the week. As for market capitalization, it decreased from $9.52B last week to $9.50B.

The Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) recovered some of its previous losses recording a 2.70% weekly progress. Even though the BSI lagged behind the MSCI, the Lebanese gauge fared better than each of the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large-Mid-Cap Index and the S&P AFE 40 Index, which respectively posted decreases of 1.25% and 0.99%.

In Saudi Arabia, investors on the Tadawul stock exchange were booking profits following 2 sessions of gains and ahead of the month of Ramadan when trading activity becomes usually slow. Besides the Saudi and Lebanese bourses, Qatar, Amman, Bahrain and Muscat stock markets also posted weekly losses of 0.99%, 0.35%, 0.35% and 0.28%, respectively.

In contrast, this week’s top three performers were Dubai, Kuwait and Tunisia. Listed stocks on Dubai’s stock market boosted the bourse’s weekly performance by 3.75%, while the indices in each of Kuwait and Tunisia recorded respective upticks of 1.36% and 1.25%.

On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), the banking sector took 84.10% of the total traded value, while the real estate and industrial sectors contributed for the remaining shares of 15.86% and 0.04%, respectively.

In the banking sector, BLOM Bank shares saw mixed performance as its Global Depository Receipts went up by a weekly 1.48% to $10.30, while its common shares lost 1.00% to $9.95. In addition, the listed shares of Audi, Byblos and Bank of Beirut (BoB) recorded weekly declines of 0.84%, 0.61% and 0.21% to end the week at $5.90, $1.62 and $18.76, respectively.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it revealed a minor weekly progress of 0.03% to 104.07 points. In details, each of Audi’s preferred “F” shares and Byblos preferred 09 shares went up by 0.10% to $100.10 and $100.20, respectively.

In the real estate sector, Solidere class “A” lost 1.41% to close at $9.79, while the class “B” rose by a weekly 1.94% to settle at $9.99.

On the London Stock Exchange (LSE), BLOM GDRs added 1.48% to end the week at $10.30, while Solidere GDRs rose by 1.01% to settle at $10.00

Looking ahead, the Beirut Stock Exchange is expected to swing without a clear direction in the coming week depending on the course of events. In fact, security concerns may arise after the latest development in Arsal on one side, and at the same time, optimistic hopes may spur especially amid rising talks related to Lebanon’s oil and gas file and the deriving opportunities.

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