KARACHI: Unilever’s share buyback programme announcement on Wednesday continued to spur the market upward on the penultimate trading session of the week. The index closed beyond the 16,500 points barrier for the first time in history, helped by investor optimism over improving Pakistan-US ties and generally positive news on multiple fronts.
“The main thrust came from Unilever, [which was] followed by interest in United Bank and MCB Bank,” commented Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities. “Meanwhile, profit-taking was witnessed in cement stocks which have been on an uptick for the last few sessions.”
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index climbed 0.63% or 103.05 points to end at the 16,527.08 points level. Trade volumes declined to 256 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 313 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs6.56 billion.
“Lagging financials were the first to react, led by United Bank (up 2.84%); Adamjee Insurance (up 3.57%) was also up after Unilever’s buyback announcement, as the company holds over 26,000 Unilever shares,” reported Haris Ahmed Batla, analyst at Elixir Securities. “Retailers’ favourite Jahangir Siddiqui & Company (up 6.19%) was also in the limelight, as punters switched from low-cap cements to other penny stocks.”
“A rise in international coal prices dented cement stocks – with DG Khan Cement closing down 1.70% and Maple Leaf Cement losing 5.41% – while reports of a Rs5 increase per 50 kilogramme bag of cement provided some support.”
Jahangir Siddiqui & Company was the volume leader with 28.09 million shares gaining Rs0.97 to finish at Rs16.65. It was followed by DG Khan Cement with 19.39 million shares losing Rs0.94 to close at Rs54.20 and Fauji Cement with 18.85 million shares losing Rs0.10 to close at Rs6.84.
“The Karachi Electric Supply Company (up 4.7%) was also in the limelight, as a notice from the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank, notifying conversion of their $50 million convertible loan, sparked investor interest,” added Ovais Ahsan, analyst at JS Global.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs213 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2012.