The Beirut Stock Exchange Down in the First Two Weeks of 2017

The Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) ended the past two weeks in the red as the poor performance of real estate stocks overshadowed the positive performance of most banking stocks.

Since year-start, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) shed 0.47% to 1,207.03 points with the market capitalization dropping from $10.20B on December 30th, 2016 to $10.15B this week.

The average traded volume and value on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) were down from 375,219 and $3.64M on December 30th, 2016 to 174,859 and $1.25M at the end of this week, respectively.

Over the period December 30th, 2016 to January 13th, 2017, the BSI was outpaced by the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap which gained 9.19%, the MSCI Emerging which lost only 0.16% and the S&P AFE40 which added 7.67%.

The above mentioned period was bright for most Arab bourses with Egypt’s EGX 30 taking the lead with a 62.63% surge, followed by a 15.81% rise for Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul Stock Exchange Index (TASI) and a 12.50% increase for the Kuwait Stock Index.

The only markets to have dropped over the past two weeks were the bourses of Qatar and Muscat with respective losses of 3.82% and 1.04%.

The banking sector accounted for 69.87% of the traded value during the period followed by a share of 29.25% accounted for by the real estate sector and 0.88% taken up by the industrial sector.

BLOM Bank’s listed and GDR shares grew by 1.89% and 0.64% over the past two weeks to reach $10.80 and $11.07, respectively.

Bank Audi’s GDR shares rose by 0.77% to settle at $6.55 while Bank Audi’s listed shares fell 2.06% to $6.66.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), tracking the BSE’s preferred shares, it registered a 0.09% uptick to 105.40 points. Byblos’s preferred shares showed a contrasted performance with the 2008 class losing 0.49% to $102.10 and the 2009 class gaining 1.28% to $102.60. Bank Audi’s preferred G shares fell by 0.10% to $102.10 while Bank Bemo’s preferred 2013 shares gained 0.76% to reach $100.00.

Real estate shares Solidere A and B were the worst performers over the past two weeks and were down by 2.41% and 5.05% to settle at the prices of $10.13 and $9.97, respectively.

In the industrial sector, Holcim’s shares were up by 1.70% to $11.95.

On the London Stock Exchange (LSE), BLOM’s GDR shares added 2.75% to close at $11.20, the GDRs of Bank Audi gained 3.08% to $6.70. However, Solidere’s GDR shares slid by 1% to $9.90.

The upcoming release of the banks’ end of year results is likely to be the main driving force of the BSE in the weeks ahead.

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