The Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE), established in 1920 by a decree of the French commissioner, is the second oldest stock exchange in the MENA region, only preceded by the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
When the BSE got its start, trading in the region was mainly concentrated on gold and currency transactions. In the 1930s, there was an inflow of French, Syrian and local Lebanese investment which made it possible for the BSE to flourish, especially with the establishment of mixed Lebanese-French joint stock companies that were listed on both BSE and Bourse de Paris at the same time.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Lebanese economy witnessed a significant activity and trading activity on the exchange increased as various industrial, banking and services companies listed their stocks along with bonds.
During the Lebanese Civil War (1975 to 1990) trading activity halted in 1983. In 1996, the BSE re-launched the trading activity in its hall, following a thirteen-year compulsory suspension.
In 1999, the BSE and Bourse de Paris signed a cooperation agreement and the continuous-trading NSC-UNIX-EURONEXT electronic brokerage system was set.
In 2000, new forms of securities were listed such as Global Depository Receipts (GDRs), investment funds, preferred stocks, priority shares, and some tradable derivatives.
In the year 2002, the BSE relocated to its new headquarters at the Azarieh building in the Beirut Central District.
In late 2006, the BSE launched a new Remote Trading System, allowing the brokers to trade with the securities listed on the BSE "remotely" from their own offices.
The BSE’s aggregate market capitalisation rallied by 33.11% during the eight-year period extending between the year 2006 and April 2014.
In the year 2008, the BSE launched E-trading on the internet, and this via authorised brokers at the stock exchange.
On March 3, 2009, the BSE launched a more developed trading system “NSC UNIX V3 PLUS”, developed by NYSE Euronext, in order to replace the old trading system that was installed in July 2003.
In 2011, the Lebanese parliament passed the “Capital Markets Law” in an endeavor to promote transparency and enforce regulation through the establishment of an independent legal entity called the “Capital Markets Authority”.
This new law previewed the establishment of a Financial Market Court to adjudicate financial matters, and the restructuring of the Beirut Stock Exchange with a view to transfer its ownership to the private sector.
The Beirut Stock Exchange today is run by a committee including a chairman, a vice chairman and eight members appointed by virtue of a decree issued by the Council of Ministers, in accordance with a proposal of the Minister of Finance. Each committee serves for a four-year mandate.
Ghaleb Mahmassan (Vice Chairman)
Mr Mahmassani has been the Vice Chairman of the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) since September 2009. He first joined the exchange as a non-executive board member and vice president in 1999. He has been an attorney at law and legal counsel since 1962.
Tel.: +961 1 993555
Fax: (+40)(21) 307 95 19
Address: Al Bachura, Azarieh street, Azarieh Bldg. Block 01 - 4th floor, Beirut, Lebanon, P.O.BOX: 11-3552