Lebanese Stocks Drop this Week despite Growing Trading Activity

The Lebanese bourse witnessed a downturn this week as revealed by the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) that decreased by 0.49% to end the week at 1,229.82 points. This was also reflected by the $51.70M weekly contraction of the market capitalization to $10.60B.

However, the average trading volume and value increased from 68,745 traded shares worth $636,000 last week to 551,756 traded shares worth $1.51M this week.

On a wider scale, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index registered a 0.64% weekly downtick while the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index and the S&P AFE40 went up by 1.11% and 1.57%, respectively.

In the Arab markets, the stock exchanges of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Kuwait ended the week with respective gains of 3.86%, 2.47% and 1.66%. In contrast, the Moroccan and Bahraini bourses revealed weekly losses of 1.50% and 0.19%, respectively.

Back on the Beirut Stock Exchange, the banking sector accounted for 93.9% of the total traded value this past week. BLOM Bank’s listed and GDR shares lost 0.94% and 0.83% to settle at $12.68 and $12.00, respectively. Similarly, Audi GDRs and Byblos common shares recorded respective weekly drops of 1.16% and 2.87% to $6.80 and $1.69. In fact, the drop in price Byblos shares is mainly due to the bank’s board of directors announcement, early this week, that it will propose to the Ordinary General Assembly of Byblos Bank S.A.L set to convene on the 28th of April 2017, the distribution of dividends for the year 2016.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it rose by a weekly 0.12% to 106.28 points mainly on account of the 1.46% uptick in the price of Bank Audi’s Preferred F shares to $104.

In the real estate sector, which accounted for 6% of total traded value this week, Solidere A ticked up by 0.89% to $9.07, while the price of the class B decreased by 0.91% to $8.72.

In the industrial sector, Holcim’s listed shares increased 1.83% to end the week at $11.71.

On the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the GDR shares of Byblos Bank recorded a 5.13% weekly increase to $82.0, while those of Bank Audi and Solidere fell by 0.15% and 3.81% to $6.80 and $8.84, respectively.  While the price of BLOM Bank’s GDRs changed across the week, it ended the week at last week’s level of $12.70.

For the upcoming weeks, activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange is expected to keep on dwindling in the absence of a consensus over a new electoral law, and an increasing chance of extending the parliament’s mandate for a third time.

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