As we expected, activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) retreated this week with the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) declining by 0.64% to 1,147.82 points. This was also translated by a narrower market capitalization, which stood at $9.48B by the end of this week down from $9.54B last Friday. In addition, trading activity slowed down over the week with the daily average traded volume going down from 178,679 shares worth $1.56B to 122,681 worth $1.02B this week.
On a comparative scale, the BSI was outperformed by many of its regional peers such as the Morgan Stanley emerging index (MSCI), the S&P AFE40 and the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index which respectively rose by 3.42%, 1.85% and 1.75%.
In the Arab world, the Lebanese and Tunisian stock markets were the sole losers this week with the latter recording a drop of 1.40% from the previous week.
In contrast, Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi were the week’s best performers after posting weekly gains of 3.31%, 3.19% and 2.97%, respectively.
Financial stocks dominated this week’s trades grasping 84.33% of the total traded value, while the real estate and industrial sectors took the remaining shares of 15.39% and 0.28%, respectively.
In the banking sector, BLOM listed shares lost a weekly 0.60% to $9.90, whereas its GDRs recorded a 0.49% slip from last week to $10.20. On the contrary, Byblos common stocks marginally improved from last week’s price of $1.64 to close at $1.65.
As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it revealed a weekly drop of 0.08% to 104.16 points. This has resulted from the 0.10% and 0.99% weekly declines in the prices of Audi preferred shares class “F” and Byblos preferred shares class 09 to $100.20 and $100.00, respectively. However, BLOM preferred 2011 shares registered another weekly gain and rose from $10.05 last week to $10.10 by the end of this week.
In the real estate sector, Solidere class “A” and “B” shares decreased by 2.85% and 3.44% to $9.56 and $9.54, respectively.
On the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the GDRs of Solidere, BLOM and Audi lost 3.10%, 0.97% and 2.78% to $9.69, $5.95 and $10.25, respectively.
In the industrial sector, HOLCIM shares witnessed a 1.04% drop this week to $14.31.
The sluggish performance of the BSE is expected to continue in the coming weeks; unless a positive development on the political front took place.