The BSI Down this Week, Mainly As Coronavirus Cases Surge

The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) compiled by BLOMInvest Bank on a daily basis dropped by 0.86% over the week ending July 17, 2020, and the Market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) declined by a marginal 0.87% to reach $6.36B on July 17. It followed that the volume and value of trades this week totaled 92,630 shares worth $1.25M traded, compared to 202,332 shares worth $2.95M traded last week.

Regionally, the main equity indices inclusive of the S&P AFE 40, S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index recorded the respective, marginal downticks of 0.93%, 0.46% and 3.12% across the board. The stock market drop can be mainly attributed to the new spike in coronavirus cases and deaths over the week which fueled fears of a second wave of infections across the Middle East and Africa. Moreover, Oil prices edged lower this week, given the uncertainty about global recovery in fuel demand with new COVID-19 cases. On the supply side, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies known as OPEC+, agreed to trim record supply cuts of 9.7M barrels per day (bpd) imposed earlier this year by 2M bpd starting in August.

It followed that the top performing bourses over the week were Bahrain’s and the KSA’s which increased by 1.26% and 0.14%, respectively. However, the bourses of Egypt, Kuwait and UAE  declined by 4.81%, 1.83% and 1.42%, respectively, by July 17.

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 81%. The banking and industrial sectors in their turn composed 18.89% and 0.03%, respectively, of the total value. The most noteworthy trades throughout the week included:

  • Solidere “A” shares, which climbed by a weekly 0.47% to $15/share.
  • Solidere “B” shares declined by 1.33% to $14.80.
  • Byblos Listed shares dropped by 11.11% to $0.40.
  • BLOM GDR shares decreased by 0.67% to $2.98.

As for the BLOM Preferred shares Index (BPSI), it slumped by 4.26%, closing the week at 60.02 points on the back of the drop of Bank Audi Pref I by 20.02% to $39.95.

On the London Stock Exchange, only Audi GDR shares traded this week, retreating by 0.49% to reach $0.408 per share by July 17 2020.

In addition to its economic and financial crisis, Lebanon faced this week a surge in the number of coronavirus cases as health professionals cautioned that local hospitals were facing huge problems because of the country’s severe economic crisis. Crises seem to be endlessly multiplying in the country.

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