KARACHI: The stock market closed in the black on Tuesday, albeit with clipped gains. Much positivity was generated by rumours that the long-awaited Capital Gains Tax amnesty has been cleared by the law ministry and awaits the President’s approval; but reports of heavy selling by foreign and institutional investors in cement, banking and fertiliser stocks restrained the bull run.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.35% or 49.15 points to end at the 14,132.59 point level.
“Institutional selling was seen as the index crossed the 14,000 points mark after a gap of four years,” remarked Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.
“Post result sell-off [was] witnessed mainly in the banking stocks, [which] forced the benchmark to close with clipped gains,” added Invisor Securities Head of Equity Sales Hasnain Asghar Ali.
Trade volumes improved to 297.16 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 213.34 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.86 billion.
“Lucky Cement and DG Khan Cement (DGKC) were browbeaten with big volumes today, as DG Khan Cement slipped 4.7%, while Lucky dipped 2.9%. MCB Bank remained firm and gained 1.3% after it announced first quarter earnings per share (EPS) of Rs6.14 – which beat analyst forecasts – along with a dividend of Rs3. Allied Bank surprised the market with a first interim cash dividend of Rs2, as it reported an of Rs3.22 for the first quarter, while Habib Bank also jumped 2.4% after reporting an above-consensus EPS of Rs5.12,” reported Jawad Khan, analyst at JS Global.
Shares of 373 companies were traded on Tuesday. At the end of the day 171 stocks closed higher, 145 declined while 57 remained unchanged.
DG Khan Cement was the volume leader with 35.76 million shares losing Rs2.12 to finish at Rs42.59. It was followed by Lafarge Pakistan with 25.31 million shares gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs5.49 and Fauji Cement with 20.97 million shares losing Rs0.23 to close at Rs6.81.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs674.47 million and sellers of Rs765.51 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.