Beirut Stock Exchange - Weekly update
On the face of it, trading on the Beirut Stock Exchange appeared to hit immense heights as volume skyrocketed to 7,103,883. However, as the old saying goes –“looks can be deceiving”.
A significant portion of that volume, 98.5 percent to be precise, was attributable to OTC trades in both Solidere share classes. This increased activity in the bourse’s largest stock, though failed to halt the retreat of those particular shares, driving the overall market down as the BLOM Stock Index shed 1.7 percent to close at 610.74.
Otherwise, trading in Beirut was relatively undistinguished with only five other stocks traded for a combined volume of 61,323. On the GDR front, the scene was rather mixed, with two up and two down.
Banks were in almost lively form on the local bourse in comparison to most weeks, with Bank of Beirut (BoB) and Byblos “C” leading the pack, which actually only consisted of Audi “C” as the remainder lay completely passive.
BoB, as ever, did not budge an inch in price, remaining the model of stability at $7.563, but registering the largest volume amongst the banks of 23,750, of which 5,000 exchanged hands in continuous trading and the rest at fixing. Byblos “C”, despite its lower volume of 8,568, outshone BoB and its listed banking peers by gaining 8.9 percent to reach $1.906 in only two sessions of active trade.
Audi “C” chalked-up its almost regular 500-share weekly volume at its static price of $20.75. However, Audi’s GDR witnessed some movement, edging up 0.3 percent to $16.4, while BLOM’s GDR rose 1.9 percent to $21.95.
OTC trades totaling 7 million shares, 5 million for “A” and 2 million for “B”, could not prevent both share classes from dropping. Class “A” went down 5.2 percent to $6.875, and “B” lost 1.6 percent to end at $7.5.
The optimism surrounding Solidere following the parliamentary elections at the start of September appears to have momentarily evaded investors. General sentiment towards Solidere may turn more positive, as the pace of developments is expected to increase under the more friendly new government. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)