- Market expects Pakistan to exit grey list late on Friday
Investor sentiment at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) strengthened on Friday and the KSE-100 index rose 410.6 points to power past the 42,000-point mark, following speculation that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will remove Pakistan from the grey-list after markets closed.
In addition, market anticipation of a staff level agreement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for disbursement of the next tranche of $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) lent further support to buying activity.
The index gained 410.6 points or 0.98% to close at 42,140.76 points.
Trading began on a positive note and the market staged a rally in the first session that ended with a 521 point gain. The KSE-100 index extended gains further at the start of the second session but profit-taking kicked in during final hours and erased some of the gains.
All index-heavy sectors recorded modest buying activity as investors rushed to assume fresh positions.
This week, the government removed the fuel price subsidy and hiked oil prices in Pakistan to appease the IMF. Removal of the subsidy was a key condition laid down by the global lender for disbursement of the next loan installment.
Meanwhile, the FATF had added Pakistan to its grey list in 2018 after the money laundering and terror financing watchdog found deficiencies in Pakistan's action plan.
Subsequently, the entity introduced 27 conditions for Pakistan to fulfil, of which it has completed 26. It had also achieved six of the seven points given by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) in 2021.
Speaking to Business Recorder, Arif Habib Limited's Head of Research, Tahir Abbas, said hope that Pakistan would be removed from FATF grey list by Friday strengthened investor spirits and rekindled their interest in the equity market.
“Moreover expectation of swift revival of IMF bailout programme is also driving positivity in the market,” he said.
A report from Capital Stake said that bulls took charge of the PSX on Friday.
Indices accumulated gains all day long while volumes surged from last close.
On the economic front, total liquid foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan declined by $234 million on a week-on-week basis. Net reserves with State Bank of Pakistan fell $241 million to $8,985 million (levels last seen in November 2019).
Sectors driving the benchmark KSE-100 index north included oil and gas exploration (88.92 points), banking (82.72 points) and cement (45.75 points).
Volume on the all-share index spiked to 282.9 million from 162.18 million on Thursday. The value of shares traded soared rose to Rs9.06 billion from Rs4.78 billion recorded in the previous session.
Cnergyico PK was the volume leader with 31.93 million shares, followed by Hum Network with 17.7 million shares, and Pak Refinery with 17.1 million shares.
Shares of 353 companies were traded on Friday, of which 238 registered an increase, 95 recorded a fall, and 20 remained unchanged.