On Wednesday, May 23, Lebanon’s stock exchange fell to 478.6 points—a mere 0.29 percent—due to the 4.35 percent drop in Byblos Bank whose stock fell to $1.37. The bank’s stock accounted for the only price movement of the day. Byblos shares have been mostly falling since HSBC cut its rating to "sell" in February after the bank's profits fell 6.8 percent last year to $46.8 million.
Total trading volume on the Beirut exchange dropped to 28,724 shares valued at $130,260 compared with 93,298 shares at $469,115 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday Byblos lowered its dividend per share for the year 2000 to $0.15 relative to $0.17 in 1999. In London, the global depositary receipts (GDR) of BLOM bank—Lebanon's largest bank—gained $0.15 to $19.5. The GDR for Solidere—Lebanon’s largest real estate company with Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri as its major shareholder—gained $0.10 to $5.35, whereas Banque Audi’s GDR lost $0.37 to $10.75. —(MENA Report)
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