By the end of October, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BST) will have a two-hour window of opportunity to allow for continuous trading, reported the Lebanon Daily Star. The move is being hailed as a potential boost for the Lebanese economy, which has found itself in dire straits of late.
Not only will continuous trading allow investors to buy and sell shares when they want, but it is speculated that it will bring on board several high-tech companies. Local mobile-phone companies, Cellis and LibanCell, are said to be nearing agreements to begin trading on the BST.
Presently, the BST has an average daily trading volume of about $300 000, well below the daily average of $2.5 million changing hands in 1997 at the peak of the equity boom. BST plans to initiate a system whereby stocks will be able to fluctuate no more than 15 percent up or down, 10 percent more than the previous regulations. Furthermore, minimum trading on the BST during continuous trading hours will be a minimum of $5000, but could be lower at the start to attract a larger segment of investors.
Jean Riachi, Chairman and CEO of Financial Funds Advisors, told the Lebanon Daily Star that “it’ll take some time to pick up because people will be cautious at the start,” however, “Continuous trading should be helpful for the market, although it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be more trading straight away.” –(Albawaba-MEBG)
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