|BLOM Stock Index|| 977.362|| 978.001||-0.07%|
|Average Traded Volume|| 38,128|| 64,340||-40.74%|
|Average Traded Value|| 641,847|| 1,156,280||-44.49%|
This week, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) compiled by BLOMInvest Bank on a daily basis slightly decreased by 0.07% to reach 977.362 on February 04, 2022. The Market capitalization on the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) witnessed a decrease from $10.02B to $10.01B. The average volume and value of trades also totaled 38,128 shares worth $641,847 compared to 64,340 shares worth $1,156,280 last week.
Overall, this week Lebanon has entered mode of “wait and see” with further local and regional political tensions. Despite the positive vibes seen lately in the country, the situation remains blocked as State budget discussions and IMF arrangement seem to be used by our elite to gain some time or even to obstruct things over until some regional breakthroughs. On a different note, the UNDP launched initiative to support up to 18 Lebanese SMEs in the agri-food and artisanal sectors to export to the U.S. market. Moreover this week, Turkey’s president and PM Mikati has discussed Lebanon-Turkey relations and assistance during a conference, while Turkey’s President showed will to undertake infrastructure projects in Lebanon as well as rebuilding the Port of Beirut.
Regionally, the major Arab markets followed a global trend and witnessed a worsening performance this week. The S&P Pan Arab and the S&P AFE 40 index went down weekly by 0.29% and 0.06%, respectively, while the MSCI index added 1.53% compared to last week. Moreover, the bourse of Morocco, Qatar and Egypt were the top gainers this week, and witnessed an increase by 1.49%, 1.39%, and 1.17%, respectively. Meanwhile UAE, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia market, decreased this week by 0.63%, 0.29%, and 0.22%, respectively.
In more details, UAE this week introduced its first-ever corporate taxes of 9% set to start in June 2023. This announcement showed that UAE is making the effort to be aligned with international standards while no longer being a tax-free country. Nevertheless, the rate is lower than regional peers, and most global financial centers, with Saudi Arabia holding the highest corporate tax rate of 20%, Oman and Kuwait follow with 15% while Qatar has the second lowest corporate tax of 10% after UAE. Undoubtedly, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are competing for foreign investments especially after ambitious plans of the Saudi crown Prince to turn his country into region’s main business hub.
On the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), the real estate sector grasped the lion’s share of the BSE’s trading value with a stake of 96.11%, while banking grasped the rest with stakes of 3.89%. The most noteworthy trades throughout the mentioned period included:
- Solidere (A) shares retreated by 0.20% to $30.54/share
- Solidere (B) shares decreased by 1.54% to $30.06/share
- BLOM listed plunged by 5.29% to $3.40/share
- Audi (GDR) jumped 5.26% to $2.00/share
- Audi listed soared by 4.76% to $2.20/share
As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it remains the same at 44.99 by the end of this week.
This week, the BSE remained steady with no major changes as the Lebanese pound kept its value and Real Estate stocks followed a frail trading. In more details, Solidere A and Solidere B correlate with the trend of the Lebanese pound in the parallel market. So, to better understand the behavior of the Real Estate stocks, we have to observe the evolution of the Lebanese lira, while taking into consideration behavior reversal by investors to hold or buy their stocks.