Minimal Activity on the Lebanese Stock Exchange This Week

The Beirut Stock Exchange managed to register its first weekly gain in August following four weeks of negative performance. Lebanon’s BLOM Stock Index (BSI) added 0.22% to end the week at 1,147.58 points, narrowing its year-to-date loss to 1.88%. This was also mirrored by an expanding market capitalization that stood at $9.49B by the end of this week as opposed to $9.47B recorded last week.

Still, trade activity slowed down this week with the average traded volume fading from last week’s 65,224 shares worth $479,427 to 25,447 shares worth $270,038 this week.

By the end of this week, the BSI outpaced many of its regional peers. In reality, the weekly drop of international oil prices near the $49 level in addition to investors’ fears ahead of Yellen Speech triggered down each of the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index, the S&P AFE40, and the Morgan Stanley (MSCI) emerging index which recorded respective weekly losses of 2.56%, 2.00%, and 2.00%.

In the Arab world, the Tunisian stock market recorded the highest weekly increase of 1.03% and was followed by each of the Lebanese bourse and Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange (a 0.03% growth).

In contrast, the economic slowdown that is characterizing GCC countries amid low oil prices environment kept on dictating investors’ performance this week. Saudi Arabia’s bourse recorded the biggest loss of 4.03% and was followed by each of Dubai and Egypt’s stock exchanges that respectively lost 2.25% and 2.23%.

The banking sector dominated the Lebanese Bourse holding 74.68% of total value traded with financial stocks ending the week on a positive note. BLOM and Byblos common shares rose by 1.01% and 0.63% to mark $10.00 and $1.61 respectively while BEMO listed stock increased from $1.50 last week to $1.72 by the end of this week.

On the other hand, the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) rose by a marginal 0.01% to 104.52 points due to the increase of Audi preferred H shares by 0.20% to $101.20.

In the real estate sector, which occupied the remaining 25.32% of total traded value, Solidere class “A” lost 1.68% to $9.37, while Solidere class “B” shares added 0.86% to $9.43.

On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM GDRs observed a 0.50% weekly increase to $10.15, while Audi GDRs slipped 0.33% to $6.10. Also, Solidere GDRs decreased by 0.85% to $9.30.

Looking forward, activity on the Lebanese stock exchange is expected to remain slow as investors are still cautious waiting for further clarity on the political and security scenes.

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