Stocks received a hammering on the second consecutive day this week, as news circulated in the market that the US was ratcheting up pressure on Pakistan to resume Nato supplies by attaching new restrictions on aid transfers and trading preferences.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index shed 1.32% or 189.70 points to end at the 14,230.49 point level.
Furthermore, the KSE issued a notice that said it will no longer be possible to channel undocumented funds into the exchange – as had been expected under the new Capital Gains Tax (CGT) regime for the stock market – and that the clauses allowing such had been dropped from the revised CGT ordinance.
Moreover: “Limited foreign interest; fall in global stocks and commodities on the eurozone debt crises; power outrages to the industrial sector; and outstanding circular debt issues in Pakistan’s energy sector catalysed bearish sentiments,” reported Ahsan Mehanti, director at Arif Habib Corp.
Trade volumes were restricted at 237 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 269 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs8.79 billion.
Shares of 358 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 79 stocks closed higher, 223 declined while 56 remained unchanged.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) was the volume leader with 43.59 million shares gaining Rs0.75 to finish at Rs16.08. It was followed by DG Khan Cement with 25.04 million shares losing Rs2.32 to close at Rs44.51 and Fatima Fertilizer with 16.36 million shares losing Rs1.08 to close at Rs25.06. An international clearing house has been proposed for telecom operators, which will effectively grant PTCL a monopoly over the gateway controlling all incoming international calls. The recent upsurge in PTCL’s stock price and activity is due to investor speculation on the possible outcome of this proposal.
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs534.54 million and sellers of Rs461.89 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2012.
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