Sluggish Performance Depicts the Beirut Stock Exchange this Week

The stock market retreated during the week in the absence of news that can create momentum. The positive impact from domestic political discussions between different parties has already discounted in the market during the previous weeks. Consequently, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) recorded a slight 0.23% downturn to close at 1,201.86 points. The average traded volume improved from 138,537 last week to 148,748 this week. In contrast, the average traded value slipped from $1.08M to $1.02M by the end of the week. Similarly, the market capitalization displayed a weekly decrease from $10.14B to $10.12B.

The BSI underperformed the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large MidCap Index, the S&P AFE Index, and the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI), all of which posted gains of 0.21%, 0.33% and 1.43%, respectively.

As for Arab bourses, the best performers were Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with respective weekly gains of 0.91%, 0.87% and 0.46%, even as volatile oil prices ate away at some of the weekly earnings.

Contrastingly, the worst performing Arab stock markets were the Egyptian bourse and the Dubai financial market with respective drops of 2.73% and 1.17% following Egypt’s military retaliation to the murder of 21 of their citizens at the hands of the Islamic State in Libya and S&P’s prediction of a 10-20% drop in real estate prices in Dubai. Also, Qatar’s stock market experienced a dip of 0.88% following political tensions with Egypt.

Regarding the BSE, the banking sector and the industrial sector accounted for 65.81% of overall traded value while the remaining 34.19% were contributed by the real estate sector.

In the banking sector, Bank Audi listed shares added 1.38% to close at $6.59. In contrast, Audi’s GDR shares and Byblos bank listed shares declined 3.43% and 0.59% to end the week at respective prices of $6.76 and $1.68.

As for the BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI), it increased by 0.12% to end the week at 106.17 points, as Bank Audi preferred shares classes “E” and “F” gained a weekly 0.59% and 0.19% to $102.80 and $103.00. Simultaneously, Byblos Bank preferred shares 2009 improved 0.99% to $102.20. Meanwhile, Byblos Bank preferred shares 2008 edged down 0.10% to end the week at $102.00.

In the real estate sector, Solidere “A” shares lost a weekly 1.58% to $11.22, while Solidere “B” shares remained relatively stable, moving from last week’s $11.14 to end the current week at $11.15.

In the industrial sector, HOLCIM shares traded a meager 24 shares with no change in price.

The market is more or less in a wait-and-see approach to monitor what the end-result of the ongoing domestic political discussions will be.

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