KARACHI: The stock market started the week on a dull note amid regional peers witnessing a downward trend and news reports dragging down the most influential sector on the bourse.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index crawled up 0.04 per cent or 5.69 points to end at the 14,617.97 point level.
According to news reports, the finance ministry is considering to provide Rs70 billion from the reserves of the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) against Term Finance Certificates. This move might ease the circular debt for a while but it will also decrease cash reserves of a company that is reliant on spending for finding new oil and gas resources, said BMA Capital analyst Nurali Barkatali.
The stock market heavyweight fell Rs2.29 to close at Rs168.41 while Pakistan Petroleum fell Rs0.50 to end at Rs194.91. The telecom sector took three of the top 10 positions in the top-traded stocks list after rumours that Pakistan Telecommunication Company has made some progress in establishing International Clearing House, analyst added.
The idea of International Clearing House (ICH) was first tabled in 2008 to prevent illegal telephony traffic landing into Pakistan. Last year, All 14 Long Distance International (LDI) operators in Pakistan agreed to set up an ICH where all incoming traffic will be terminated by foreign carriers through PTCL and end the price war among them, according to a report on Dawn News.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs175 million worth of shares, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
After gaining more than 29% this year, the market can expect a downward trend in the coming weeks, added Barkatali.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company was the volume leader with 34.56 million shares gaining Rs0.78 to finish at Rs16.12. It was followed by DG Khan Cement, with 19.60 million shares, whose stock rose to its upper limit of the day and close at 46.59 as investors bet that company margins will increase due to decline in international crude and coal prices. Telecard Limited came in third with 15.08 million shares declining Re0.01 to close at Rs15.08.
Trade volumes declined to 254 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 335 million shares.
The value of shares traded during the day was Rs9.07 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.