Arab Stock Markets Down Amid Oil Price Plunge and Corona Virus Shutdown

The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) slipped by a weekly 3.51% to stand at 599.73 points on March 20, 2020 while the Market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) also fell by 3.51% to $5.86B this week. Moreover, activity on the BSE dropped this week, as shown by the Average traded volume and value retreating from last week’s 181,894 shares worth $1.43M to this week’s 124,215 shares worth $633,187. Worth mentioning that, in line with the Cabinet’s decision to declare a state of general mobilization in the country to confront the spread of the coronavirus, the Beirut Stock Exchange closed on Monday, March 16, 2020.

During the week, Gulf stock markets have plunged to multi-year lows despite massive stimulus spending, as the region has suffered the plummeting of oil prices and sweeping coronavirus shutdowns. In details, Gulf stocks fell steeply after the OPEC+ oil producer’s alliance failed to reach agreement on additional output cuts that ignited a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Moreover, Arab countries are increasingly adopting a series of unprecedented shutdowns to counter the fast-spreading coronavirus, impacting air travel, closing restaurants and cinemas and business offices. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Oman have announced stimulus measures worth some $85B in total to support their economies.

As a result, the regional indices, MSCI Emerging Markets Index, S&P AFE 40 and the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index, witnessed significant drops by 13.22%, 2.28% and 3.11%, respectively.

In terms of market performers, most of the MENA bourses were in red this week. In details, the bourses of Morocco, Egypt and UAE recorded the weekly drops of 18.37%, 17.76% and 10.48%, respectively.

On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), the real estate sector continued to grasp the highest of the total trading value at 79.95%, while the banking and industrial sectors grasped the remaining share of 19.83% and 0.22%, respectively.

In the real estate sector, Solidere “A” and  Solidere “B” shares recorded a weekly downtick by 0.11% each to reach  8.99$, each.

In the Banking sectorThe most significant price decreases recorded among Banks’ traded shares over the week were:

  • BLOM Bank Listed shares by 17.75% to $3.18.
  • Audi Bank Listed shares by 9.64% to $1.50

As for the Blom Preferred shares Index (BPSI), it remained unchanged and ended the week at 66.67 points.

On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM  Bank’s GDR shares retreated by 14.57% to end the week at $1.70.

In  the manufacturing sector, Ciment Blanc (N) shares fell by a weekly 5.17% to stand at $2.75.

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