Beirut’s exchange ends week with meager activity
Although the BLOM Stock Index (BSI) was little moved, edging up 0.6 percent to 584.33 and volume was down almost 80 percent to 136,826, activity on the Beirut bourse could be said to have been more pronounced. For a change, the activity witnessed was not predominantly concentrated in Solidere shares, being more widely dispersed than usual as seven stocks were traded. Internationally, Lebanese GDRs were subject to some activity, with foreign investors perhaps being more discerning in their picks as three went down by varying extents and BLOM bucked the trend.
53,641 bank shares exchanged hands this week, accounting for almost 40 percent of total bourse volume. Prices of locally listed bank stocks were unchanged, while those of BLC and Audi lost ground on the international market. Audi’s GDR led the way down, losing 6.23 percent to $14.75. BLC GDRs edged down by 1.18 percent, while BLOM ended the week, 0.58 percent higher at $21.75. Some of the larger banks are expected to release their results in the coming week.
Activity in Solidere reflected the general featureless atmosphere in the market, as only 35,263 shares were traded, plunging to 93.8 percent from last week’s level. Solidere “A” managed to remain unchanged at $6.625 after dropping to a low of $6.125 at the first trading session. Class “B” shares edged up 1.82 percent to close at $7, after thin volumes were exchanged at prices of between $7 and $7.25.On the other hand, foreign investors seemed to lose some confidence, as Solidere GDRs slipped 4.05 percent to close at $5.925.
Bou Khalil Markets “B” made a rare trading appearance on the bourse since its single shot in December 2000. Five thousand shares were traded on Thursday, boosting Bou Khalil’s price 25 percent to close at $1.875. Local brokerage house Financial Fund Advisors (FFA) expected the big supermarket chain to report a $1.2 million profit for 2000, up from $0.4 million in 1999. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)