BSI Follows Global Trend With 1.72% Rise Over Two Weeks by Friday

With the start of the New Year, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) showed improvement, with the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) recording a 1.72% rise over the past two weeks to close at 1,180.60 points on Friday.

Trade activity strongly recovered from a very weak performance during the week ending December 19th, with the average traded volume rising from 150,864 shares worth $1,208,097 to 861,173 shares worth $5,022,239. It is worth noting here that the averages were greatly influenced by a heavy trading day on the 23rd of December, during which 3.93M Audi listed shares were cross-traded for a total value of $24.25M. As for the market capitalization, it widened by $69.97M over the past 2 weeks to $9.87B.

Despite the noticeable progress, the BSI lagged behind its regional peers, as the S&P AFE 40 Index, the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Midcap Index and the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI) all posted greater 2-week increases of 3.43%, 3.20% and 2.26% to close at respective values of 61.78, 133.11 and 956.28.

In the Arab World,the BSI only outperformed the Tunisian bourse over the past two weeks, which remained relatively stable with a slight uptick of 0.19%. While all the stock markets posted rises, the three best performers were Muscat’s index, Dubai’s financial market, and Qatar’s bourse, with increases of 11.77%, 10.14% and 9.87%, respectively.

Back to the BSE, the banking sector contributed 95.24% of total traded value over the past 2 weeks and was followed by the real estate sector with a share of 4.54%. The remaining share was distributed between the industrial and retail sectors, with 0.04% and 0.18%, respectively.

In the banking sector, BLOM Bank GDR and listed shares posted improvements of 1.66% and 0.57% to respectively close at $9.80 and $8.80. Bank Audi GDR and listed shares also gained 9.34% and 0.83% to $6.79 and $6.10, respectively. In addition, Byblos Bank listed and Bank of Beirut (BoB) listed shares rose by 3.75% and 0.05% to $1.66 and $18.40 per share, respectively.

Similarly, the BLOM Preferred Stock Index (BPSI) edged up by 0.11% to 105.93 points, as BoB preferred shares classes “E” and “H” gained 0.96% to close at equal prices of $26.25.

In the real estate sector, Solidere shares classes “A” and “B” recovered the losses witnessed two weeks ago, and have since rebounded to post upticks of 3.61% and 2.18% to close at $11.47 and $11.23, respectively.

In the industrial sector, Holcim shares witnessed a 5.92% drop in price to $15.25 per share.

In the retail sector, RYMCO shares posted a 1.25% uptick to $3.23 per share.

Looking forward, we can expect positive performance on the BSE to continue in the coming week, boosted by a positive trading sentiment and since the fourth-quarter financial results might be released starting next week.

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