While most Arab markets experienced a mixed week, the Palestinian and Lebanese bourses took a dive—ending five and 6.6 percent lower, respectively. As reported by Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) on Saturday, March 24, four of the 12 Arab markets ended the week with slight gains, while the remaining eight closed lower.
Lebanon’s BLOM index was hardest hit—crashing 6.6 percent to 496.48 points—mainly due to the 9.8 percent drop in Soldiere stocks. On the year, the Lebanese index lost a total of 16.2 percent. Similarly, the Jerusalem index of the Palestinian territories slipped 5 percent—closing at 174.72 points—following a seven percent fall in Palestine Telecom shares.
The Hermes Financial Index in Egypt was hard hit, falling 3.2 percent to 6,161.27 points. Since the beginning fo the year the index lost a total of 19.6 percent of its value in local currency. The NCFEI stock market in oil-rich Saudi Arabia dipped 1.3 percent on the week, closing at 2,244.86 points, after OPEC's decision to cut output had little impact on oil prices.
Tunisia's Tunindex continues its downward trend since the beginning of the year, losing 0.9 percent to a close of 1,319.55 points. Morocco’s CSE index and Qatar’s CBQ index also fell, each losing 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.
Among the week’s winners was Kuwait's KSE index, gaining 2.3 percent, to close on 1,459 points. This is the index’s highest level since October, amid active trading boosted by increased liquidity and renewed investor optimism over economic reforms.
Oman's MSM index ended the week almost one percent higher, at 188.50 points, whereas the BSE in Bahrain finished 0.7 percent up at 1,638.14 points. The ASE index in Jordan also rose 0.4 percent to 139 points. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)