close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
November 21, 2018

Stocks dull as Pakistan-IMF bailout talks linger on

Business

November 21, 2018

Stocks on Tuesday remained low-keyed with no springboards in sight as tidings from International Monetary Fund and Pakistan’s conclusive session left investors speculating over the fate of the bailout because the multilateral lender has asked Pakistan to bite off more than what it can chew in terms of its conditions that are too tough for this government to deal with, dealers said.

Topline Securities in its daily market review said lack of triggers kept investors subdued today as they awaited news from Islamabad, where IMF bailout package talks concluded today.

“Later finance ministry announced that owing to some outstanding issues, the bailout negotiations will be extended until the latter's board meeting in January, 2019 as talks this month ended in a stalemate,” the brokerage said, adding this development might have some repercussions down the line.

Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 shares index gained 0.16 percent or 66.47 points to close at 41,419.24 points level, whereas KSE-30 shares index followed was flat with an addition of 0.20 percent or 39.30 points to end at 19,829.24 points level.

Out of today’s as many as 375 active scrips, 168 gained, 185 lost, and 22 remained unchanged. The ready market volumes stood at 167.325 billion shares, as compared with the turnover of 176.441 billion shares in the previous session.

Ahsan Mehanti from Arif Habib Corporation said stocks showed recovery as investor weighed government austerity measures and resistance over the IMF terms for bailout package.

“Receipt of $1 billion tranche of financial assistance from Saudi Arabia to ease external account crises, recovery in global crude prices, upbeat data on exports, remittances and surging local cement and fertiliser prices led to a bullish close at the PSX,” Mehanti added.

Trading dulled on reports that bailout negotiations have ended in a deadlock and the ‘lender of the last resort’ will return to Pakistan next year to hold further talks. Reports have it that government has been unwilling to accept the harsh measures like a double-digit interest rate hike, power tariff raise by another 20 percent, devaluation of rupee by around 7 to 10 percent and increase in sales tax rate by 2 percent to 18 percent.

This development was enough to keep investors off the trading floor.

An analyst said the market was anxiously waiting for the State Bank of Pakistan to announce the date of monetary policy in which the interest rate was expected to see a rise of 50 to 100 basis points.

“The inflation rate even after recent tweaking is still below 7 percent and hints at an increase in benchmark interest rate,” the analyst said.

The highest gainers were Colgate Palmolive, up Rs119.99 to close at Rs2529.98/share, and Pakistan Tobacco, up Rs80.65 to finish at Rs2270.70/share.

Companies that booked highest losses were Phillip Morris Pakistan, down Rs176.95 to close at Rs3362.15/share, and Island Textile, down Rs84.31 to close at Rs1601.94/share.

Engro Polymer recorded the highest volumes with a turnover of 15.964 million shares. The scrip gained Rs1.11 to close at Rs40.34/share.

The lowest volumes were witnessed in Lotte Chemical, recording a turnover of 10.299 million shares, and losing Rs0.27 to end at Rs19.69/share.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus