Solidere boosts Beirut stock exchange activity
The higher volume this week on the Beirut bourse, up 57.8 percent at 223,888, is somewhat deceiving as an indicator of activity, as 89 percent of that total was concentrated in Solidere “A”. For the first time since its introduction, continuous trading accounted for the majority of trading, representing 83.7 percent of total volume, mostly in Solidere “A” on Monday, December 11.
The BLOM Stock Index was quite steady, as a rise in Solidere “B” was offset by falls in Ciments Libanais and Byblos “C” on relatively thin volumes. The lack of interest in local equities at the present time naturally reflects to a large extent other diversions, namely the festive season and the year-end when book-closings occupy many investors’ minds. Lebanese GDRs were rather mixed this week, two down, one stable and one up.
A feeling of deja-vu descended upon banking stocks on the bourse this week, with just Bank of Beirut and Byblos “C” again being the only ones traded. The latter lost ground that it had gained last week, falling 5.4 percent to $1.656 as 6,254 shares were traded in total. Trading in Bank of Beirut was almost equally spread at each session, with a total of 6,000 shares exchanged at a steady price of $7.563. On the international market, BLOM GDR regained some of its standing by rising 1.8 percent to $21.125, as Audi remained stable at 16.15 while BLC stepped back 1.5 percent to close at $6.525.
Despite being the subject of high volume, 199,104 shares being traded, Solidere “A” remained unmoved in price at $6.5. However, in contrast, its close kind Solidere “B” attracted trade of 2,530 shares but saw its price climb 1.8 percent to $7.125. Perhaps this was the first indication of positioning ahead of expected company friendly news in the New Year, or perhaps another profit-taking opportunity in the making that might see the price retreat from any gains. The company’s GDR did not appear to find any new admirers on the international front, shedding 1.6 percent to $6.35. ¯ ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)