Investors breathed easier on Wednesday after reports that the long-awaited capital gains tax ordinance was finally signed by President Asif Ali Zardari; giving some certainty to investors over the issue. The bill is due to be tabled before the National Assembly on May 25.
“After the promulgation of new capital gains tax rules, [the] market saw renewed activity in selected counters,” said Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities. “Investors are keenly observing the developments at the judiciary level also.”
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.60% or 85.15 points to end at the 14,217.74 point level.
“The [intra-day] high of 14,312 points in the first session saw oil and banking scrips performing, as Pakistan Oilfields, Pakistan Petroleum and Pakistan State Oil went up [by] 1.8%, 0.9% and 0.4% respectively. MCB Bank and National Bank went up [by] 1.6% and 0.7%,” reported Mujtaba Barakzai, analyst at JS Global. “Profit taking was witnessed in the last trading hour,” he added.
Trade volumes improved to 306.80 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 297.16 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.69 billion.
Shares of 370 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 127 stocks closed higher, 183 declined while 60 remained unchanged.
“Bank Alfalah, with [a] good result and payout, surprised the market with news of negotiating the takeover of IGI Investment Bank Limited. Pakistan Telecommunication Company’s third quarter results, with earnings per share of Rs0.83 [was] down 15%. [The] result was below expectation[s] as there was no dividend declared in the telecom stock,” said Barakzai.
IGI Investment Bank was the volume leader with 26.96 million shares gaining a whopping 39.22% or Rs1.00 to finish at Rs3.55. It was followed by Lafarge Pakistan with 25.32 million shares losing 3.46% or Rs0.19 to close at Rs5.30 and Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 19.08 million shares losing 6.18% or Rs0.88 to close at Rs13.37.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs513.30 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.