BSI Follows Most Regional Markets, Declining by 1.78% during the Week ending 19th of December

The Beirut Stock Exchange continued last week’s decline, as the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) recorded a weekly 1.78% loss to close at 1,160.67 points on Friday, after investors tended to close their long-term positions on the back of no reassuring news on the political front.


Trader activity was very low, with the average traded volume going down from 573,565 shares worth $4,085,481 to 150,864 shares worth $1,208,097. As for the market capitalization, it shrunk by $175.63M since last week to $9.70B.


As a result of the decrease, the BSI managed to outperform only one of its regional peers, the S&P AFE 40 Index, which declined by 1.86%. The Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) and the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Midcap Index performed better than the BSI, but still recorded weekly losses of 1.15% and 1.59%, respectively.


In the Arab World,the Tunisian bourse was the only market to post an increase, with a weekly rise of 3.00%, while all other markets were in the red.                                                                                                                                                                                              


Arab bourses continued to face the consequences of falling oil prices on the back of oil news. The worst performer among them was the Egyptian stock market, which suffered a loss of 8.67%. Qatar and Dubai also recorded respective downturns of 5.28% and 4.68%.


Back to the BSE, the banking sector contributed around 67.31% of total traded value and was followed by the real estate sector with a share of 32.69%.


In the banking sector, Byblos listed sharesdropped 3.03% to $1.60. Also, Audi GDR and listed shares declined by 5.05% and 2.10% to close at $6.21 and $6.05, respectively, and BLOM GDR and listed shares edged down by 0.10% and 0.57% to respectively close at $9.64 and $8.75.


On the other hand, the BLOM Preferred Stock Index (BPSI) posted an uptick of 0.25% to 105.81 points, as Audi preferred shares class “H”, Bank of Beirut preferred shares “I” and Byblos preferred shares 2008 and 2009 gained 1.29%, 0.58% 0.69% and 0.49% to $102.30, $25.90, $102.00 and $102.10.


In the real estate sector, Solidere shares classes “A” and “B” declined, and revealed weekly losses of 3.57% and 3.68% to $11.07 and $10.99, respectively. The closing prices are the lowest posted since the 2nd of January 2014 and the 24th of September 2013 for Solidere “A” and “B” shares, respectively.


Looking forward, activity on the Lebanese stock market is expected to remain flat given the current circumstances as investor confidence appears low.

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