Positive Prospects for the BSI with Optimistic Presidential Elections

The Lebanese bourse maintained its positive performance as the long wait for a president approaches its end. Hence, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) registered a 1.75% weekly rise to 1,226.59 points, its highest level in more than two years.

Moreover, the average traded volume and value on the Lebanese bourse respectively escalated from last week’s 538,336 shares worth $6.01M to 2,131,976 shares worth $8.30M this week. Accordingly, market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) rose from $10.14B last week to $10.32B this week.

The BSI lagged behind some of its regional peers this week. In details, the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index and the S&P AFE40 gained 2.50% and 2.49% respectively. However, the BSI outperformed the Morgan Stanley (MSCI) Emerging Markets index which registered a weekly loss of 0.88%.

As for Arab stock exchanges, the best performer was Saudi bourse with a 5.03% weekly upturn. This rise came through the $17.5B international bond sale by the government, which eased fears of an illiquid economy. The Saudi index was followed by the Kuwaiti and Tunisian indices which registered respective gains of 3.39% and 1.13%. However, Dubai’s stock index and the Qatari gauge registered slight losses of 0.66% and 0.64%, respectively.

The banking sector grasped the largest share this week of 73.86% out of the total value traded on the Lebanese Bourse. In details, BLOM Bank’s GDR shares gained 0.49% to close at $10.35. Moreover, Audi GDRs and common shares rose by 3.87% and 0.65% to stand at $6.44 and $6.24, respectively. Byblos Bank registered an increase of 1.83% to $1.67. Meanwhile, BLOM listed shares declined by a weekly 0.99% to reach the price of $10.00. Also, BEMO shares fell 2.91% to $1.67 after the shareholder Mr. Maroun Semaan gave up 7,647,311 shares for his children.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it grew by 0.04% to 104.68 points. The increase was attributed to the 0.96% rise in BoB Preferred “J” shares to $26.25, and the 0.50% decline in BEMO Preferred 2013 shares to $99.50.

The real estate sector, contributed to 26.10% of the total weekly traded value with Solidere A and B shares increasing from $11.47 and $11.58 last week, to $12.48 and $12.22 at the end of this week.

As for the manufacturing sector, HOLCIM shares dropped by 0.44% over the week to reach the price of $15.80. Moreover, the price of Ciment Blancs’ nominal shares, HOLCIM’s subsidiary, fell from $3.10 to $1.57.

On the London Stock Exchange, Solidere GDRs and BLOM GDRs increased by a weekly 1.74% and 3.43% to $11.70 and $10.55. However, Bank Audi’s GDR shares registered a 0.62% loss to $6.36, compared to $6.40, last week.

With the optimistic upcoming presidential elections and the banks’ positive financial statements, the Beirut Stock Exchange index is expected to improve even further in the upcoming weeks.

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