Beirut Stock Exchange Up on News of Imminent Presidential Election

 21/10/201614/10/2016% Change
BLOM Stock Index*          1,205.48                 1,164.013.56%
Average Traded Volume           538,336                    33,6981497.53%
Average Traded Value        6,005,171                  316,9881794.45%

Political developments over the past week signaled that the issue of the vacant presidential seat might soon be resolved after more than two-years of complete deadlock.

The news reflected positively on the Lebanese bourse as shown by the 3.56% weekly upturn in the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) to 1,205.48 points. On Thursday, the day the Future Movement Leader, Saad Hariri, announced he is endorsing General Michel Aoun for the presidency, the BSI closed at 1,214.69 points, its highest level in a year and a half.

The BSI outperformed many of its regional peers: The S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index which lost a weekly 0.13% to 102.24 points, the Morgan Stanley (MSCI) Emerging Markets index which gained 2.55% to 913.38 points and the S&P AFE40 which added 0.3% to 50.16 points.

The average traded volume and value on the Lebanese bourse respectively surged from last week’s 33,698 shares and $316,988 to 538,336 shares and $6.01M this week. Accordingly, market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) rose from $9.69B last week to $10.14B this week.

As for Arab stock exchanges, the best performance was registered by the Bahraini bourse with a 0.64% weekly upturn followed by a 0.47% increase on the Qatari bourse and a 0.17% uptick on the Dubai Financial Market. The picture was less positive for the Egyptian bourse with a weekly loss of 2.68%, followed by a 1.73% decline for Muscat’s stock exchange and a 1.20% fall for the Abu Dhabi stock market.

The banking sector grasped the largest share this week of 54.65% out of the total value traded on the Lebanese Bourse. BLOM bank’s GDR and listed shares gained 0.78% and 1% to close at $10.30 and $10.10, respectively. Meanwhile, Bank Audi’s GDR and listed shares declined by 0.8% and 0.64% to reach the price of $6.20 each. Byblos Bank’s listed shares lost 1.20% to end the week at $1.64.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it grew by 0.59% to 104.64 points. The increase came about as Byblos’ preferred 2008 and 2009 shares added 0.10% and 0.30% to $101.10 and $101.40, respectively. Bank Audi’s preferred G shares and Bank of Beirut’s preferred H shares rose by 1.09% and 5% to $101.80 and $26.25, respectively.

The real estate sector, contributed to 45% of the total weekly traded value with Solidere A and B shares rising from $9.61 and $9.60 last week to $11.47 and $11.58 at the end of this week.

As for the manufacturing sector, contributing to a meager 0.35% of total traded value, HOLCIM shares rose by 10.44% over the week to reach the price of $15.87.

On the London Stock Exchange, Solidere GDRs increased by a weekly 17.95% to $11.50 while Bank Audi’s GDR shares gained 3.39% to $6.40. BLOM Bank’s GDR shares lost 0.97% to $10.20.

The upbeat tone seen on the Beirut Stock Exchange will be short-lived if politicians fail to agree on a presidential candidate in the coming week.


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