The BSI Slumped by a Weekly 2.01%: Social Unrest Returns to the Streets while Delays in Government Formation Persisted

 The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) slumped by 2.01% to close the week at 726.4 points on January 17th 2020. Meanwhile, the Market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) fell from last week’s $7.25B to this week’s $7.10B. In turn, the Average traded volume and value followed suit, retreating from last week’s 186,485 shares worth $1.43M, to 71,119 shares worth $516,652 in the week ending Jan. 17th 2020.

It is worthy to note that the BSI’s performance was frail, especially when compared to some of the region’s leading equity indices. For instance, the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index recorded a notable uptick of 1.83% to close the week at 799.27 points. Similarly, the S&P AFE 40 added 1.75% to 68.49 points, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index also rose by 1.00% over the week ending January 17th, to close at 1,140.62 points.

Most of the region’s bourses partially recovered this week across the board, following last week’s rise in geopolitical (and ensuing country) risks on the back of the rising tensions between Iran and the US leaving the equity markets’ performances subdued. In details, the week’s best gainers included the bourses of Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. In fact, these respectively increased by 2.87%, 2.65%, 2.43% and 2.04% over the week.

Dissecting the trading activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) revealed that the real estate sector continues to grasp the lion’s share of the BSE’s total trading value, with a stake of 89.23%. Solidere’s “A” and “B” shares combined grasped a total market value of $2.31M this week, down from last week’s $5.6M yet still elevated compared to all other sectors. As for the prices of Solidere “A” and “B” shares, they rose by the respective, weekly 3.44% and 3.57% to stand at $8.71 and $8.70 by the week ending Jan. 17th.

In turn, Lebanon’s industrial sector grasped an incremental 0.68% of total BSE’s trading value, as HOLCIM shares surged by 5% to close the week at $10.5/share. Moreover, Ciments Blancs nominal shares jumped by 15.38% to $3.00, over the same period.

Meanwhile, the banking sector grabbed a share of 10.09% of BSE’s total trading value this week and continued to witness weak performance, in parallel to the rioting acts re-emerging rigorously across the country this week. As such, the most notable declines were recorded as follows:

  • BLOM GDR shares, down by a weekly 37.4% to $3.80
  • BLOM Listed shares, fell by 0.99% to $7.00
  • Audi Bank Listed shares, crunched by 2.17% to $2.25
  • BEMO listed shares, declined by 8.00% to $1.15

 On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM (GDR) shares decreased by a weekly 8.18% to close at $2.02.

 In its turn, the BLOM Preferred Stock Index (BPSI) witnessed an incremental uptick of 0.04% over the week to stand at 75.21 points, on the back of a 0.2% increase in the price of Bank of Beirut Preferred “I” shares to $25.00

The performance of the BSI in the coming weeks will be tightly linked to the formation (or non-formation) of a new government. Despite news regarding a potential government formation by the end of this week, prospects seem to have faded as investors anxiously wait and see the country’s developments to adjust their positions accordingly.

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