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French Version

BSE ends 2007 with gain of 26 percent

Over the six trading days during the past two holiday weeks, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) mirrored fluctuations on the political scene, as the BLOM stock index increased to 1543.72 on the December 18 only to retreat to 1501.767 on Friday, registering a decline of 0.35 percent from its December 14 close.

Nevertheless, the BLOM Stock Index ended the year - Friday was the last trading day in 2007 - with a 26.33 percent increase since January.

Over the six previous trading days, 4.2 million shares changed hands, an increase of 68.54 percent from its previous close, while traded value closed at $57.25 million, up 25 percent.

Solidere shares accounted for 74 percent of total trading activity, whereas banking stocks accounted for 22 percent and car dealer RYMCO for 4 percent.

Within the banking sector, BLOM's global depositary receipt (GDR) closed the year at $90.20, down 1.96 percent, with 6,955 traded shares for a value of $632,877. The listed shares of BLOM moved in the opposite direction, closing at $84, up 1.94 percent on a volume of 1,577 shares worth $132,468. BLOM's preferred 2004 and 2005 shares witnessed single trades of 1,000 shares at $101,000 for the former and 23,320 shares at $2,359,984 for the latter, at prices of $101 and $101.20.

On the other hand, Bank Audi's GDR witnessed a 4.6 percent increase, ending the year at $76.25 on a volume of 12,548 shares worth $941,087. Its listed shares underwent a single trade of 22,172 shares for $1.58 million without registering any change from the previous closing price of $70. Audi Preferred D shares declined 0.1 percent to close at $101.40 on trades of 18,615 shares valued at $1.8 million.

As for Byblos Bank, its common and priority shares dropped by 2.2 percent and 5.96 percent to $2.22 and $2.21, respectively. A total of 374,839 shares of Byblos common were exchanged this week, amounting to $854,564, while 287,766 Byblos priority stocks underwent trading, valued at $673,916.

Two of the three shares of Bank of Beirut were active and followed a downward trend, closing at $12.75 for the listed shares on a volume of 2,700 shares valued at $34,550, while class C preferred shares closed at $24.89 on trades of 100,400 shares worth $2.4 million.

On the London Stock Exchange, BLOM's GDR fell 1.97 percent to $89.50, while Audi's GDR increased 1.31 percent, closing at $77 on Friday. In the real estate sector, both Solidere A and B shares declined marginally by 0.60 percent and 0.74 percent to close at $23.03 and $22.70, respectively. Solidere A realized a volume of 1.12 million shares amounting to $26.2 million, while 693,768 Solidere B shares were traded, valued at $15.8 million. Internationally, Solidere stocks followed suit with a fall of 1.50 percent reaching leading to a closing at $23.

In the retail sector, car dealer RYMCO tallied an increase of 6.3 percent to close at $1.35 on a volume of 1.59 million shares worth $2.25 million.

Beirut 02-01-2008
The Daily Star

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