Small Gains Characterized the Lebanese Stocks Over the Week

As some banks published positive financial results over Q1, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) performance was marginally boosted during the week. In details, the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) posted a weekly uptick of 0.22% to 1,194.05 points, broadening its year-to-date gain to 2.03%.

 As for the average traded volume, it went down to settle at 55,747 shares worth $717,401, compared to 61,446 shares amounting to $641,650. In the same context, market capitalization expanded from $10.03B to $10.05B.

 On a comparative scale, the BSI lagged behind the S&P Pan Arab Composite Large-Mid-Cap Index, the S&P AFE 40 Index and the Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Index (MSCI), which gained a weekly 1.74%, 1.64% and 0.53%, respectively.

 On the regional front, oil prices increased by 0.96% from April 24th and there are speculations over further upward price movement in the upcoming weeks, with US inventory numbers increasing at a slower pace compared to the idling of US oil rigs. This positively affected some GCC bourses where Dubai was the top performer, increasing by 3.45%, followed by Saudi-Arabia and Tunisia with respective weekly upturns of 2.35% and 1.25%. Saudi-Arabia’s stock market saw improvement despite alleged reports that the situation in Yemen has been worsening.  

 In contrast, Amman was the worst performer, declining by 2.58% from April 24th, while Egypt and Muscat lost respective 0.63% and 0.59% over the same period.

 Back to Lebanon, the banking sector grasped 71.62% of total traded value, while the real estate sector contributed to the remaining 28.38%.

 In the banking sector, Audi listed and GDR shares gained 1.64% and 0.15% to close at $6.20 and $6.61, respectively. Furthermore, Byblos Bank common shares inched up by 0.57% to settle at $1.76. In contrast, BLOM GDR shares lost 2.82% to close the week at $9.65.

 The BLOM Preferred Shares Index (BPSI) slightly increased by 0.05% to 105.65 points, on the back of Bank Audi preferred shares class “H” and BLOM bank preferred 2011 shares gaining 0.50% and 0.20% to $100.50 and $10.22, respectively.

 The real estate sector saw a mixed activity, where Solidere shares class “B” rose by 0.90% to $11.15, while that of class “A” traded but ended the week at its previous quote of $11.13.

 Looking ahead, developments related to the revision of 2015 budget that will be adopted by the cabinet and the fiscal deficit that will ensue from it will be the main indicator impacting investors’ behavior in the coming weeks.

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