The BLOM Stock Index (BSI) compiled by BLOMInvest Bank on a daily basis rose weekly by 0.68% to reach 616.53 by the week ending December 18, 2020. The Market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) recorded weekly an uptick of 0.68% to reach $6.32B on December 18, 2020. Moreover, the average volume and value of trades this week totaled 83,551 shares worth $1.01M, compared to 238,092 shares worth $1.02M traded last week.
Regionally, the major Arab markets witnessed a better performance this week. In details, the S&P AFE 40 Index, the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Mid Cap Index and the MSCI increased weekly by 0.57%, 0.87% and 1.43% respectively. In the Arab World, the bourses of Morocco and Kuwait were the top gainers this week increasing by 3.95% and 1.29%, respectively. This week, Morocco has become the fourth Arab state in 2020 to agree to resume diplomatic relations with Israel following the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Sudan. In fact, Morocco has agreed to grant overflights of its airspace and direct commercial flights to and from Israel, and at a later stage, the two countries might also open consulates and embassies. In addition, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health authorized on Sunday the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine against the coronavirus after the committee reviewed the safety and quality specifications of the vaccine for ensuring the wellbeing of the public. Moreover, Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the inauguration of the 16th Legislative Term of the National Assembly (parliament) in Kuwait City on Tuesday expressed that Kuwait will use all its resources to end the Gulf crisis, hoping that relations get back to normal among conflicting parties. This is expected to have a positive impact on Gulf stock markets.
Meanwhile, the bourses of Tunisia and Egypt were the top losers this week declining by 0.86% and 1.30%, respectively.
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 97.72%. The banking and industrial sectors grasped the share of 2.71% and 1.57%, respectively. The most noteworthy trades throughout the week included:
- Blom GDR shares dropped by a weekly 1.48% to $2.00/share
- Blom listed shares rose by a weekly 13.89% to $2.05/share
- Audi GDR shares dropped by a weekly 12.07% to $1.02/share
- Audi Listed shares rose a weekly 3.31% to $1.25/share
- Solidaire (A) shares rose by a weekly 0.87% to $16.25/share
- Solidaire (B) shares dropped by a weekly 1.58% to $16.21/share
- HOLCIM Liban shares rose by 4.20% to $13.65/share
As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it remained unchanged this week and reached 48.75 points, however;
- Byblos Preferred 08 shares dropped by a weekly 12.53% to $34.99/share
- Byblos Preferred 09 shares rose by a weekly 24.63% to $49.85/share
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s hopefulness for a Cabinet formation was soon shattered as President Emmanuel Macron next week’s visit to Beirut was cancelled after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. As a result, intensifying fears of a prolonged standoff with all the dreadful consequences and instability led to a further depreciation of the Lira against the dollar, recording USD/LBP rate of 8,500 in the unparalleled market. This of course, does not bode well for the prospects of the BSI.