The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) compiled daily by BLOMInvest Bank declined by a weekly 2.23% to 605.12 points by 26, 2020. It followed that the market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) decreased by a noticeable 2.23% over the week, to reach $6.20B. This also triggered drops in the volume and value of trades such that 96,994 shares worth $952,022 were traded this week, compared to last week’s 144,364 shares worth $1.62M.
As for the prime regional indices over the week, they recorded mixed performance with the Middle East gradually but cautiously beginning to ease covid-19 restrictions. In detail, the S&P AFE 40, S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index declined weekly by 0.53% and 0.78%, respectively. Meanwhile, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose weekly by 4.95%.
The top performing equity markets in the region were those of: Kuwait, Bahrain and Dubai which rose by 3.92%, 0.40% and 0.39%, respectively, in the week ending June 26. Meanwhile, the bourses of Qatar and Tunisia declined weekly by 1.45% and 1.11%, respectively. Worth mentioning, that a whole day’s trades get canceled in Kuwait over dividend chaos. In addition the IMF cut Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 6.8% this year as low crude prices and coronavirus batter Middle East economies.
On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), Lebanon’s real estate sector grasped the lion’s share of the BSE’s trading value with a stake of 98.34%. The banking sector grasped the remaining share of 1.66% of the total value. The most noteworthy trades throughout the week included:
- Solidere “A” shares, which rose by a weekly 0.75% to $12.08/share.
- Solidere “B” shares declined by 0.58% to $11.93.
- Audi Listed shares retreated by 8.25% to $0.89.
- BLOM Listed shares retreated by 9.96% to $4.16.
In turn, the Blom Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) saw no change from last week, and thus stood at 62.69 points by June 26.
on the London Stock Exchange, BLOM GDR shares dropped by weekly 6.67% to stand at $1.4 while Audi and Byblos GDR shares maintained stable prices, thereby ending the week at $0.43 and $70 per share, respectively.
Despite the pump of US dollars to the exchange houses, the Lebanese pound plunged this week hitting another all-time low against the dollar trading between LL6,700 to more than LL7,000 in the parallel market. In fact, injection of dollars from abroad remains the best solution to stabilize the currency. The International Monetary Fund is the most likely candidate to provide that service. A possible agreement with the IMF on a financial package can be a step closer to needed reforms that will, in turn, encourage foreign investors into the Lebanese capital and financial markets again.