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The KSE-100 broke its five-session losing streak on Monday as the benchmark index moved up 520 points to breach the 46,000 level as the market cheered talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan.

Buoyed by investor sentiment, the KSE-100 index opened with a spike and hit an intra-day high of 650.57 points in the initial minutes. The market remained in the green zone throughout the session, but witnessed a marginal dip towards noon which was swiftly correct by the participants. The final hour witnessed some profit taking that erased few of the gains.

At close on Monday, the KSE-100 ended with a gain of 520.23 points, or 1.14%, to finish at 46,073.25.

KSE-100 suffers fifth-successive fall, closes near 45,550

“Pakistan equities closed positive on Monday as delayed IMF programme revival now seems very much in sight,” said Ismail Iqbal Securities in a note. “Fertiliser, banks, technology, chemical and power sectors were the major contributors in the session, cumulatively adding 383 points to the index.”

On the economic front, the government of Pakistan seems to have gotten the $6-billion IMF bailout scheme back on track.

However, to achieve this, the government has agreed to roll back fuel and power subsidies announced by former premier Imran Khan.

Govt, IMF reach new agreement?

Sectors driving the benchmark KSE 100 index upward included fertilisers (156 points), banking (72 points), and technology (58 points).

Volume on the all-share index increased to 368.83 million from 217.57 million on Friday. The value of shares traded soared to Rs9.66 billion from Rs5.3 billion recorded in the previous session.

Hum Network was the volume leader with 46.87 million shares, followed by Telecard Limited with 35.49 million shares, and WorldCall Telecom with 31.99 million shares.

Shares of 325 companies were traded on Monday, of which 163 registered an increase, 148 recorded a fall, and 14 remained unchanged.

The market had initially opened positively to IMF-Pakistan developments, after the two reportedly agreed in principle to extend the pending $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme by one year and increase the loan size to $8 billion.

“The positivity in the markets comes amid the statement given by the international lender on extending the EFF till 2023,” said Tahir Abbas, Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited (AHL), while talking to Business Recorder. He added that positivity was expected to persist throughout the day.

In a late-night development on Sunday, it was learnt that Pakistan requested the IMF to extend the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement through June 2023.

The IMF expects to send a mission to Pakistan in May to resume discussions over policies for completing the 7th EFF review.

Nathan Porter, IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, issued the following statement:

“We had very productive meetings with the Finance Minister of Pakistan Miftah Ismail over Pakistan’s economic developments and policies under the Extended Fund Facility program. We agreed that prompt action is needed to reverse the unfunded subsidies which have slowed discussions for the 7th review.

“Based on the constructive discussions with the authorities in Washington, the IMF expects to field a mission to Pakistan in May to resume discussions over policies for completing the 7th EFF review. The authorities have also requested the IMF to extend the EFF arrangement through June 2023 as a signal of their commitment to address existing challenges and achieve the program objectives.”

Stalled IMF programme: Revival now very much in sight

A number of experts had earlier pointed out that the resumption of IMF’s EFF is critical to revive market sentiment. The IMF programme is crucial for Pakistan's economy that has seen its central-bank-held foreign exchange reserves reach a critical level of $10.89 billion.

Meanwhile, Miftah at a press conference in Washington said that he and his team had very good discussion with the IMF, the World Bank and IFC. He said the incumbent government will fulfill all sovereign commitments made by the previous governments with IMF and regarding CPEC.


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M Rana Apr 25, 2022 11:44am
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