KARACHI: The stock market remained unsure of which direction to take on Monday, as developments on the prime minister’s contempt case remain stalled, and rumors of a delay in the grant of amnesty on the capital gains tax (CGT) circulated in the market.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.10% or 13.44 points to end at the 13,286.73 point level.
According to Elixir Securities analyst Haris Ahmed Batla, the Hub Power Company remained the most talked-of stock in the market today, closing positive after acquisition of 201 million shares in the company by Dawood Hercules at Rs31 per share. Pakistan Petroleum Limited closed slightly down as the government, in-principle, approved offloading 2.5% of its stake in the company through a secondary public offering.
Trade volumes improved to 278 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 226 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.71 billion.
Most volumes were witnessed in second- and third-tier stocks, as investors steered clear of the blue chip counter. Selling pressure was also witnessed in the fertiliser segment, as investors expect a fall in sector earnings due to low off-take.
Dealers say that unless there is development in the CGT amnesty and contempt cases, blue chips are likely to remain out of favour in the coming days. Azgard Nine was the volume leader, improving 12.71% with 30.90 million shares gaining Rs1.00 to finish at Rs8.87. It was followed by TRG Pakistan Limited, which improved 10.53% with 24.51 million shares gaining Rs0.42 to close at Rs4.41 and Engro Polymer, closing down 5.68% with 18.84 million shares losing Rs0.68 to close at Rs11.30.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs44.22 million and sellers of Rs94.13 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.