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KSE-100 settles at 67,142, highest closing in history

  • Experts attribute rally to advancement on privatisation and IMF fronts
Published March 28, 2024

Buying spree continued at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as the benchmark KSE-100 settled over the coveted 67,000 level on Thursday.

At close, the benchmark index settled at 67,142.12 after an increase of 594.34 points or 0.89%. This is now its highest closing level in history. Its previous highest was achieved a day ago.

Market experts have attributed the rally to the advancement in the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and progress on a new bailout programme.

Foreign and local institutions are buying amid positive news on privatisation and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Mohammed Sohail, CEO Topline Securities, in a note on Thursday.

Buying was witnessed in index-heavy sectors including automobile assemblers, commercial banks, cement, chemical, oil and gas exploration, OMCs and refinery.

Index-heavy stocks including Lucky Cement, OGDC, PPL, SNGPL, PSO, SHEL, and SSGC settled in the green.

Last week, the IMF and Pakistani authorities reached a staff-level agreement on the second and last review of the $3 billion Stand By Arrangement (SBA). Subject to IMF board approval, Pakistan will have access to around $1.1 billion.

The two sides also remain engaged in negotiating a “successor medium-term Fund-supported programme to permanently resolve Pakistan’s fiscal and external sustainability weaknesses.”

Meanwhile, the incumbent government has also resolved to follow through with the privatisation process of loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

In a key development, the board of the newly established PIA Holding Company endorsed the Scheme of Arrangement delineating the pathway for the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines.

The inaugural board meeting, convened at the Secretary Aviation’s Office in Islamabad, marked the official commencement of the company’s operations. Formally endorsed by the Federal Cabinet on March 20, 2024, the government appointed its Board of Directors on March 26, 2024.

On Wednesday, bullish momentum had also persisted at the bourse as the benchmark KSE-100 Index crossed the 66,500 level, closing at the then-record high of 66,547.78 with a jump of nearly 1%.

Internationally, Asian investors trod carefully on Thursday after a Federal Reserve official floated the idea of delaying or reducing interest rate cuts, while the yen held gains having briefly hit a 34-year low the day before.

A recent market rally has started to peter out as traders assess the outlook for US monetary policy, with a string of above-forecast inflation and economic data leading some to question whether the central bank can stick to its projection of three cuts this year.

Confidence has not been helped by comments from Fed officials in the past week.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee remained largely stable against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Thursday. At close, the local unit settled at 278.03, up by Re0.01 against the greenback, as per the State Bank of Pakistan.

Volume on the all-share index increased to 421.1 million from 354.6 million a session ago.

The value of shares also increased to Rs16.16 billion from Rs11.88 billion in the previous session.

P.T.C.L. was the volume leader with 55.72 million shares, followed by Lotte Chemical with 27.23 million shares, and Telecard Limited with 25.55 million shares.

Shares of 352 companies were traded on Thursday, of which 212 registered an increase, 111 recorded a fall, while 29 remained unchanged.


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AlipBAy Mar 28, 2024 02:05pm
Contrary to ground realities..sattah continues!
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Arif Mar 28, 2024 04:54pm
Courtesy Public sector Insurance companies.
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