Buoyant banking activity in the second half of the week propelled the trend, which appeared quite bearish until Wednesday amid continuous concerns over the leading blue chips. SMART index ended the week higher 0.17 percent whereas financials lost ground, off 0.03 percent, as banks slip slightly back on BH weakness. Services stocks were the best performers gaining 2.43 percent and reversing last sluggish mood.
SOTETEL revived again in early week to close a little changed on Thursday level at nearly TND 195. In the aggregate, the bonus shares made strong gains of 6.82 percent and the common ones surged almost 8.3 percent. This helped to push services higher as the sector second largest stock TUNISAIR edged down 1.16 percent in subdued trading. The investor sentiment in SOTETEL is still though feverish despite the last improvements. The profits taking round halted but purchases broke up too reflecting increasing hesitation from investors. Thus, traded value amounted to lesser TND two million over the two lines. In addition to market volatility due to partly technical factors, the regain of interest in banks is widening the investment alternatives and offering bargain opportunities to institutional investors.
Stocks in SPDIT, the financial arm of SFBT group, have experienced a significant upturn boosted by resurgent demand. Back into game rallying after a month of a long pause, SPDIT prices were up 6.86 percent to climb back at TND 33.66 below a week's high of TND 33.98 reached on Friday. Momentum in SPDIT is seen to move higher as markets look for more portfolio’s diversification at the moment.
SIAME spring up to show signs of growth containing two weeks of heavy losses. Buying waves triggered trading that went up to TND 0.6 million and prices closed at TND 62.9 around the previous Friday close. SIAME, the electrical components maker, enjoyed robust growth in sales with a bulk turned to exports.
BH came off 4.39 percent at TND 12.22 moving closer to its all time low of 1997 (TND 12) amid worries about the bank shorter outlook after the dwindling tone of last interim statements. AMEN BK fell also 4.19 percent to its annual low of 20.1 TND in Friday closes. BIAT was the most active with BH and STB, igniting trade over the block market with about 25,000 units in BIAT and 20,850 BH dealt Friday at TND 21.8 and TND 12.1 respectively. STB, which remain the focus of some buying interests, recorded blocks of 30,000 shares in early trading sessions. The stock overcame the July big losses to stand out the best performer in August with 7.7 percent monthly change. The investors warm welcome to the recent bonus shares distribution boosted prices in UBCI, which pushed higher, 2.4 percent at Friday's closes. That hence helped UBCI to extend monthly gains to 6.7 percent.
The activity eased up during the week even though a number of block moves on BIAT and BH has barely bolstered trades. Transactions envelope was down at TND 12.2 million thinned by investors' prudent attitude in SFBT and SOTETEL. SFBT posted saggy volumes in four trading sessions apart from Thursday charged with TND 1.4 million on daily basis. Understandably, the market shunned the shares early this week to react to the prices flat levels as shares traded in a range of 180 to TND 181 during the past sessions. This weakness in market tone was spread over to the other leading stock SOTETEL since only 9,800 shares were dealt in all-lines whereas BIAT and STB gave a lift to activity with trades spurred to account more than TND one million in either this week. — ( TUSTEX )
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