Lebanon, Jordan bourses slump in mixed week for Arab stock markets
(AFP, RIYADH) - Lebanon's BLOM index plunged 5.7 percent and the AFM in Jordan also fared badly in a mixed week for Arab stock markets, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported on Saturday.
The week's best performer was the Jerusalem index of the Palestinian territories that strengthened 3.1 percent to climb to 268.93 points on the back of a 5.6 percent surge in PADICO shares, the Riyadh-based investment specialists said.
The BLOM fell under the 600-point mark, closing the week on 595.07 points, as Solidere which is in charge of downtown reconstruction fell 6.8 percent after announcing it will not pay out dividends for 1999. The Lebanese market already lost 1.3 percent the previous week on the same news.
Jordan's AFM index was down 2.7 percent, sinking to 136.62, its lowest value since July 1996, "as investors await the outcome of the Middle East peace summit" at Camp David, said BFA.
In the Gulf, the only winners were Qatar's CBQ index and the NCFEI all-shares index in Saudi Arabia that were slightly up 0.5 and 0.2 percent respectively. The NCFEI improved to 2,097.49 points, while the CBQ rose to 210. 64 points.
But the NBAD index in the United Arab Emirates slumped 1.7 percent to close on 2,549.01 points "due to lack of trading in the summer vacation season," BFA said.
Continuing its downward trend since April, Oman's MSM index fell 1.2 percent to 207.50 points, while the BSE index in Bahrain declined to 1,902.04 points, its lowest value since August 1997.
The BSE lost 0.9 percent on the week because of a liquidity crunch. The KSE in Kuwait was also down, slipping 0.6 percent to 1,384.40 points.
In North Africa, the biggest loser on the week was the Hermes Financial Index in Egypt which fell a hefty 1.4 percent to close on 9,259.56 points due to selling pressure after a four-percent surge the previous week.
The Tunindex in Tunisia and Morocco's CSE index both gained ground, rising by 0.9 and 0.3 percent respectively. The former closed on 1,378.51 points and the CSE on 714.36 points.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)