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Monday May 20, 2024

KSE-100 briefly tops 74,000 on bets of IMF deal

By Our Correspondent
May 14, 2024
Stock broker monitor television screen at a booth, during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, in Karachi, Pakistan. — AFP/File
Stock broker monitor television screen at a booth, during a trading session at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, in Karachi, Pakistan. — AFP/File

Stocks surged to a new record high on Monday, with the benchmark index briefly piercing the 74,000 level, as investors bet on a successful outcome to talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sparking a broad-based buying spree in blue-chip stocks, dealers said.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange's (PSX) benchmark KSE 100-share Index gained 713.61 points or 0.98 percent to close at 73,799.11 points. The highest index of the day remained at 74,114.23 points while the lowest level was recorded at 73,109.76 points. The KSE-30 index increased by 196.550 points or 0.84 percent to 23,623.68 points.

“Stocks closed all-time high amid speculations over outcome of Pakistan- IMF talks for new loan program," said analyst Ahsan Mehanti at Arif Habib Corp. "The finance minister's deliberations over the privatisation of all SOEs, high targets for PSDP in the budget FY25 next month and structural reforms in tax, energy and SOEs played a catalytic role in the record close."

Traded shares decreased by 20 million shares to 721.597 million shares from 741.196 million shares. The trading value rose to Rs25.649 billion from Rs25.268 billion. Market capital expanded to Rs9.958 trillion against Rs9.878 trillion. Of 387 companies active in the session, 241 closed in green, 120 in red and 26 remained unchanged.

Ali Najib, an analyst at Topline Securities said the positive vibes from the IMF, rejuvenated foreign interest at attractive valuations and continuous progress on the macro front could likely be accredited to this achievement. “Investors chose to further strengthen their equity position by buying blue-chip stocks across the board,” he said.

E&P and fertilizer sectors contributed positively where POL, DAWH, ENGRO, PPL and MARI added 307 points. On the flip side, FFC, PAEL and PIOC cumulatively lost 58 points due to some profit-taking witnessed in them.

The highest increase was recorded in Sapphire Fibres Limited shares, which rose by Rs63.04 to Rs1,463.04 per share, followed by Service Industries Limited, which increased by Rs56.35 to Rs834.83 per share. A significant decline was noted in Nestle Pakistan Limited, which fell by Rs86.50 to Rs7,401 per share, followed by Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited, which closed lower by Rs82.30 to Rs19,007.70 per share.

Muhammad Rizwan, an analyst at Chase Securities, said the surge was largely fuelled by strong performances from the exploration & production and banking sectors, which collectively contributed 360 points to the overall gain.

"Investor focus sharpened on the E&P sector as news circulated about an impending gas price adjustment," Rizwan said. "Within this dynamic market environment, Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) emerged as a standout performer, hitting its upper limit fuelled by optimistic sentiments surrounding its dividend prospects."

Meanwhile, the cement and steel sectors remained in the spotlight, with investors showing continued interest. Optimism prevailed amidst expectations of a lower consumer price index (CPI) figure for May, which could pave the way for a potential reduction in the discount rate during the upcoming Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

Cement stocks registered gains ranging from 0.5 percent to 4.00 percent, while steel stocks outperformed, with some witnessing increases exceeding 4 percent.Cnergyico PK remained the volume leader with 64.224 million shares which closed higher by 37 paisas to Rs4.74 per share. WorldCall Telecom followed it with 51.639 million shares, which closed lower by 7 paisas to Rs1.48 per share.

Other significant turnover stocks included Hum Network, Pak Elektron, Fauji Cement, K-Electric Ltd., Ghani Glo Hol, Aisha Steel Mill, Maple Leaf and Power Cement. In Future Market, 318 companies recorded trading, of which 219 increased, 93 decreased and 6 remained unchanged..