Mixed activity in wait-and-see period for Beirut’s Stock Exchange
Activity on the Beirut Stock Exchange was mixed for the week. The market was decidedly down as three stocks lost ground. Ciments Libanais accounted for 77 percent of volume, but Solidere continued to dominate turnover with 61.3 percent of the total.
Markets seem to be signaling that any increase in trading activity on the bourse will be directly linked to progress in fiscal reforms, and particularly to privatization efforts. On a weekly basis, volume rose nearly 108 percent to 144,775 shares but turnover fell almost 36 percent to $249,546.
Trading in Solidere’s stock receded significantly and closing prices were down. But interest in the firm’s stock is likely to increase following government promises of speeding up the release of permits that have been held up in red tape and bureaucracy. Both share categories declined as “A” shares lost 3.6 percent to close at $6.75 while “B” shares lost 1.7 percent to end the week at $7.25. A total of 22,275 shares changed hands for a value $152,922 compared to a volume of 43,917 shares changed hands for a value of about $380,000 for the previous week.
Bank stocks contributed 20.5 percent of turnover on the bourse for the week. Byblos was the only mover for the third consecutive week, dropping 12.5 percent to $1.75. All other bank stocks maintained their previous prices.
Ciments Libanais was unchanged at $0.4063 despite 112,000 traded shares.
Lebanese GDRs posted marginal declines, with Blom and Solidere losing 1.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
The Lebanon Invest Bank Stock Index (LISPI) ended the week at 64.43, down 0.9 percent from the previous week’s closing of 64.98.
The Lebanon Invest Bank Stocks Index (LIBX) ended the week at 141.32, down 0.6 percent from the previous week’s closing of 142.13. — ( Lebanon Invest )