The Lebanese Bourse Went Down This Week Despite Positive Bank’s Results

After witnessing an improvement for a while, Lebanon’s stock market deteriorated this week, where the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) dropped by 0.41% from last week’s value to reach 1,153.18 points. As such, the Beirut Stock Exchange’s (BSE) market cap dropped from $9.58B to reach $9.54B on July 29th 2016.

Although the gauge fell this week, trading activity rose as the average traded volume increased from 66,626 shares to 83,604 shares, with respective average values rising from $651,405 to $874,214.

When compared to regional and emerging markets, the Lebanese index outperformed S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index which dropped 1.34% this week. Nevertheless, the BSI lagged behind both Morgan Stanley (MSCI) emerging index, that increased by 0.5%, and the S&P AFE40, which witnessed a drop of 0.54%.

The Arab bourses witnessed fluctuations this week, where Egypt stock exchange registered the biggest weekly gain, of 7.99%. This significant increase can be attributed to the Egyptian Government seeking a $12 billion loan from the IMF, which is suspected to revive the economy. The other top performers of the week were the Kuwaiti and Qatari bourses, which registered respective increases of 1.29% and 1.12% from last week’s value.

However, Saudi Arabia’s stock market registered a 4.02% downtick during this week, the worst performance among other Arab stock markets. This drop can be partially justified by the Saudi National Commercial Bank’s suggestion of lowering cash dividend per share. On a different note, both Dubai and Tunis stock markets saw negative performances, where their indices dropped 0.7% and 0.17%, respectively.

As for Lebanon’s stock market economy, banking stocks grasped the highest share of total value with 81.52% this week, while the real estate and industrial stocks contributed to the remaining 18.34% and 0.14%, respectively.

In the banking sector, BLOM GDR lost 0.10% to $10.05 while the bank’s common stock gained 0.40% to $9.95. Audi GDR rose by 0.81% to $6.20. Similarly, and even though Byblos Bank’s financials depicted 6% rise in net profits, the bank’s common shares fell 2.41% to $1.62.

As for the preferred shares, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) improved by 0.04% to 104.28 points, mainly due to the respective increases of 0.6% and 0.3% in the closing prices of Audi Preferred F and Audi Preferred G. Still, Byblos Preferred 2008 and BLC pref C dropped by 0.2% and 0.99%, respectively.

However, the real estate sector witnessed a downturn with Solidere class “A” and “B” shares dropping by 1.95% and 0.83% to $9.56 and $9.59, respectively.

Despite the fact that HOLCIM witnessed a profit in its financials, the company’s share price fell 0.35% this week to stand at $14.10.

Also, both Audi GDRs and Blom GDRs observed a downfall, on the London Stock Exchange, of 2.4% and 0.5%, to reach $6.2 and $10.00, respectively.

Finally, the release of the bank’s financial statements for the first half of the year failed in boosting investment sentiment on the Lebanese bourse this week. However, we are still awaiting the publication of Blom Bank and Solidere’s results for H1 2016, which could boost trading activity in the upcoming weeks.

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