KARACHI: Optimism sustained in the market on Monday over the implementation of the International Clearing House (ICH) gateway, which will handle all international calls for the country.
Positivity over this development continued despite the Competition Commission of Pakistan’s warning against the execution of the proposal, and a policy directive issued by the Ministry of IT against the formation of the ICH.
“A mixed trend was witnessed at the local bourse: continued buying interest was witnessed in the telecom sector, while profit taking was witnessed in exploration and production, and cement stocks,” reported Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.
She noted that volumes continued to be dominated by telecom scrips, while the index continued its climb towards historic highs to close well above the 15,400 points level.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.24% or 36.91 points to end at the 15,428.49 points level. Trade volumes, however, dropped to 199 million shares compared with Friday’s tally of 240 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.80 billion.
“The KSE closed up 37 points, led once again by PTCL, over news that all Long Distance International operators have signed the ICH agreement, and the new rate is to be implemented from October 1, 2012,” explained JS Global analyst Jawad Khan.
Shares of 349 companies were traded on Monday. Pakistan Telecommunication Company was the volume leader with 21.19 million shares gaining Rs1.00 to finish at Rs19.04. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 13.74 million shares losing Rs0.24 to close at Rs3.05 and Telecard Limited with 11.51 million shares gaining Rs0.11 to close at Rs3.02.
Presenting an overview of Monday’s activity at the bourse, Khan added: “Banking stocks came into the limelight over unconfirmed reports of a cut in minimum deposit rates, helping MCB Bank and the National Bank of Pakistan gain 0.9% and 0.8% on close. Engro remained highly-sought over unconfirmed reports of positive developments on dedicated gas supply to its fertiliser business. Cement stocks witnessed profit-taking as Lucky Cement closed down 0.3%, while DG Khan Cement slipped 0.8%.”
Foreign institutional investors were buyers of Rs308.29 million and sellers of Rs345.96 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2012.
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