Real Estate Activity Picks Up on the BSE: Investors’ Alternate Option amid Lebanon’s Recent Developments

 The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) fell by a marginal 0.16% to end the week ending December 13th at 758.54 points. The BSE’s market capitalization remained constant at last week’s $7.4B. In turn, the average traded volume and value stood at 20,628 shares worth $111,327 this week compared to last week’s $2.9M.

Meanwhile, the region’s indices recorded weekly upticks across the board, with the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index adding 0.75%, while the S&P AFE 40 rose by a weekly 0.63% and in its turn, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed by a weekly 2.67%.

On a regional level, the week’s top gainers were the bourses of the KSA, Bahrain and Morocco, which recorded weekly increases of 1.71%, 1.51% and 1.45%, respectively. Meanwhile the biggest losers of the week were the Egyptian and Abu Dhabi bourses, as they respectively fell by a weekly 2.04% and 0.22%, respectively.

On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), the real estate sector grasped 99.1% of total traded value, as Solidere A and B shares jumped by 6.82% and 0.93% to stand at $5.64 and $5.4, respectively, by the week ending Dec. 13th. The baking sector in its turn grabbed the remaining marginal 0.9% stake of total trading value, with listed shares of Byblos Bank dropping by a weekly 8.26% to $1.00.

The BLOM Preferred Stock Index (BPSI) stayed at last week’s 78.67 points, with no trades recorded over the week.

On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM (GDR) shares fell by 2.7% to close at $1.80 by the week ending Dec. 13th 2019, while Audi GDR shares rose by a weekly 26.67% to $1.90.

Trading activity on Beirut Stock Exchange remains frail, with real estate transactions and stocks being the most active, as some depositors seek safety in such investments, given the recent protest eruption in October and the ensuing bank closures and capital controls imposed.

Trading in the coming week will mostly depend on the developments starting Monday Dec. 16th, noting it is the date to which the parliamentary consultations were postponed from last week, hopefully for a prompt formation of government.


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