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$39M deals on banking stocks and the index under the impact of ex-dividend trading


Sahem Weekly Trading Report [22-26/03/ [2015

Despite the closing of Al-Quds Index in the red zone, Palestine Stock Exchange PEX has its own reasons for the recorded sharp decline during the week. At the end of the week, the Arab regional stock markets sharply decreased with varied percentages. The sharpest was among the Gulf stock exchanges, following the Saudi-led coalition strikes in Yemen. The PEX isolated itself from the external influences within its unique influences that are characterized with continuous political issues from one side and routines from another side. Whereby, the PEX has entered a phase of exchanging investment positions between traders to entitle the dividends payments in order to maximize the investment return. These attempts have led to price declines; following the variation in the traders’ interests during the period, in parallel to the spontaneous decline in the companies’ stock prices that have just approved cash dividends distribution.                                                                                                                                                

In this context, the decrease in Palestine Telecommunications PALTEL’s stock price- the heaviest weighted stock in the index- was the main reason to record losses in the index this week. PALTEL recorded a drop of 10.99%, to end the week at the level of JD5.10. This had led Al-Quds Index to close at the level of 471.87 points; down by 4.07%, following the company’s’ general assembly approval to distribute 45% cash dividends for the year 2014; a dividends yield of 7.9%. This drop in the company’s stock price after the GA meeting is attributed to the fact that the stock is trading without dividends entitlement, as in the stock doesn’t hold cash dividends and is not equivalent to its price prior to the GA meeting that should carry dividends.

Away from the price movements, the total trading value of the PEX has significantly increased during the week. The PEX witnessed executing high-volume transactions in the banking and financial services sector; raising the trading value to $44 million. During the week, A. M. Al-Kharafi & Sons Trading Company sold their stake in Bank of Palestine BOP that exceeds the 7% to several international and local funds, in addition, to investors in Palestine and the Gulf region especially from Kuwait. Moreover, Siraj Palestine Fund I has become a strategic partner in the National Bank TNB after raising its stake to 15.87% in TNB’s $ paid-up capital through purchasing 6.92 million shares. The value of the two transactions on the banks reached $39 million; constituting 88% from the PEX total trading value. 

On the other hand, the boards of directors of the listed companies continue to hold their meetings regarding distributing dividends for the year 2014. In this context and during the week, the BOD of the National Aluminum and Profile Company NAPCO recommended 5% cash dividends for the year 2014. Moreover the general assembly of Al-Shark Electrode Company ELECTRODE approved distributing 11.5% cash dividends for the shareholders as of 22/03/2015.




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