BSI Continued 0.13% Weekly Decline Amid Political Obscurity and Regional Tension

The Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) recorded the third consecutive weekly decline of 0.13% to 1,168.61 points, after the Israel Golan strike Sunday night.

Trade activity dropped over the week, with an average of 134,881 shares worth $780,569 being traded each day, compared to an average volume of 151,024 shares worth $1.13M the previous week. As for the market capitalization, it narrowed by $13.14M to $9.77B.

Among its regional peers, the BSI lagged the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI), which increased by 2.45%. Meanwhile the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large Midcap Index and the S&P AFE 40 Index lost 0.71% and 1.15%, respectively.

In the Arab World,the Egyptian stock market was the best performer for the second week, with a 3.59% increase, followed by Muscat’s bourse and Dubai’s financial market posting weekly rises of 1.93% and 1.05% respectively. Egypt’s market reacted well to the central bank’s cut of benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points.

On the other hand, Qatar’s financial market was the worst performer, dropping 1.38%, followed by Saudi Arabia’s stock market (0.44% drop) and the BSE.

Back to the BSE, the banking sector contributed 73.15% of total traded value, followed by the real estate sector with a share of 26.85%.

In the banking sector, BLOM listed shares and Audi listed shares added 1.02% and 0.99% to $8.90 and $6.10, respectively. In contrast, BLOM GDR shares lost 0.10% to $9.97.

The BLOM Preferred Stock Index (BPSI) posted a weekly increase of 0.06% to 105.90 points. The preferred shares of Audi class “H”, Byblos 2008, and that of Bank of Beirut class “I” gained 0.19%, 0.10%, and 0.39% to $103, $102.10, and $26, respectively.

In the real estate sector, Solidere shares classes “A” and “B” witnessed weekly declines of 2.67% and 1.80% to end the week below the $11 mark, at $10.95 and $10.91, respectively.

Looking ahead, the BSE is expected to stay on its downtrend, unless Lebanon witnessed improvements on the political or security front, or if banks post positive earnings for the fourth quarter of the year.

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