Stocks touch record 76,000 level on IMF deal hopes, UAE investment pledge

By Our Correspondent
May 25, 2024
Digital monitor showing the share prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi. — INP/File

Stocks surged to a record high, briefly crossing the 76,000 mark, as investors cheered progress on a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a $10 billion investment pledge from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), dealers said.


The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained by 868.56 points or 1.16 percent to close at 75,983.04 points. The KSE-30 index increased by 330.84 points or 1.37 percent to 24,444.81 points.

“Stocks closed all-time high in the pre-budget rally at PSX led by scrips across the board after the UAE pledge to invest $10 billion in multiple sectors and stable rupee amid surging SBP forex reserves,” said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp.

"Expectations for ease in the SBP policy rates next month, government deliberation on privatisation of SOEs and foreign inflows played a catalytic role in the record close." Traded shares decreased by 149 million shares to 609.848 million shares from 758.944 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs23.580 billion from Rs16.708 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs10.248 trillion against Rs10.154 trillion. Of 383 companies active in the session, 215 closed in green, 145 in red and 23 remained unchanged.

Nabeel Haroon, an analyst at Topline Securities, said positive session was observed as the highest index of the day remained at 76,248.76 points while the lowest level was recorded at 75,263.06 points.

“This positivity in the market can be attributed to a statement by the IMF that Pakistan authorities and fund have made significant progress towards reaching staff-level agreement as talks conclude today,” Haroon said.

Major positive contribution to the index came from UBL, MCB, MEBL, HUBC and EFERT, as they cumulatively contributed 414 points to the index. The highest increase was recorded in Hoechst Pakistan Limited shares, which rose by Rs102.72 to Rs1,472.50 per share, followed by Mari Petroleum Company Limited, which increased by Rs49.66 to Rs2,836.07 per share. A significant decline was noted in Shahmurad Sugar Mills Limited, which fell by Rs32.07 to Rs567.84 per share, Rafhan Maize Products Company Limited followed it, which closed lower by Rs30 to Rs7,970 per share.

Brokerage Arif Habib Ltd said the benchmark index reached the 76,000 mark, posting a weekly gain of 0.87 percent.Progress has been reported in discussions between the IMF and Pakistan towards reaching a Staff Level Agreement on a comprehensive economic policy and reform program. Officials noted "significant progress" in the negotiations.

With the market now hitting 76,000, further gains are anticipated. However, any declines below 74,000 could indicate the start of a corrective period.K-Electric Ltd. remained the volume leader with 130.069 million shares which closed lower by 3 paisas to Rs5.21 per share. WorldCall Telecom followed it with 50.574 million shares, which closed lower by 3 paisas to Rs1.42 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Dewan Cement, Hum Network, Nishat Mills Ltd, Symmetry Group Ltd, Dewan Motors, Pak Petroleum XD, Lalpir Power and Pak Elektron. In Future Market, 317 companies recorded trading, of which 199 increased, 112 decreased and 6 remained unchanged.