Post-Holiday Slump on the Beirut Stock Exchange

The BLOM Stock Index (BSI), tracking the performance of the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), fell by 4.86% over the period 7-21 April 2017 to reach 1,170.00 points. During the same period, the average traded volume and value declined from 551,756 traded shares worth $1.51M to 130,843 shares worth $1.47M.

This was also reflected by the contraction of the market capitalization from $10.60B to $10.08B.

Regionally, the S&P Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap Index, the S&P AFE40 and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index all declined over the above mentioned period by 1.98%, 1.78% and 0.5%, respectively.

The Arab bourses of the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia all declined over the past two weeks by 2.71%, 2.68% and 2.50%, respectively. In contrast, the Tunisian bourse was the only gainer with an uptick of 0.5%.

Back on the Beirut Stock Exchange, the banking sector accounted for 78% of the total traded value these past two weeks. It is worth mentioning that the substantial declines in the share prices of BLOM Bank and Bank Audi are due to the distribution of 2016’s dividends announced during the examined period.

BLOM Bank’s GDR and listed shares lost 7.41% and 12.33% to settle at $11.74 and $10.52, respectively.

Similarly, Bank Audi’s GDR and listed shares fell by 3.68% and 7.25% to reach $6.40 and $6.71, respectively.

Meanwhile, Byblos Bank’s listed shares added 3.55% to close at $1.75 and Bank BEMO’s listed shares rose by 0.59% to $1.70.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it decreased by 0.40% to 105.86 points.

Bank Audi’s Preferred G, H and I shares declined by 2.24%, 2.25% and 0.59% to $100.20, $100.00 and $100.60, respectively. Byblos Bank’s Preferred 2009 shares were also down by 0.48% to $103.00 while the bank’s preferred 2008 shares inched up by 0.10% to $103.10.

In the real estate sector, which accounted for 22% of the total traded value in the past two weeks, Solidere A and B shares lost 8.38% and 2.75% to $8.31 and $8.48, respectively.

In the industrial sector, which accounted for 0.2% of the total traded value over the mentioned period, Holcim’s listed shares lost 1.11% to settle at $11.58.

On the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the GDR shares of BLOM Bank and Bank Audi lost 7.87% and 1.32% to $11.70 and $6.71, respectively. Similarly, Solidere’s GDR shares declined by 3.85% to $8.50.

Looking ahead, investor sentiment will continue to be tuned to the political developments in the country. Now that the President delayed the issue of the Parliament extending its term for one month, uncertainty looms as to whether the political scene will witness change or deadlock.



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