KARACHI: Stocks ended higher on Monday after falling almost 2.7 per cent the previous trading session, on hopes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would soon approve a fifth loan tranche for Pakistan.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s benchmark 100- share index rose 0.16 per cent, or 16.67 points, to 10,288.14 on a turnover of 72.36 million shares. “Investors are eyeing the IMF board meeting which is towards the end of this week and hoping it approves the fifth tranche,” said Asad Iqbal, chief investment officer at Faysal Asset Management Ltd.
The IMF’s board is scheduled to meet on Friday to consider the next tranche of Pakistan’s $11.3 billion loan. The IMF’s board had originally been scheduled to meet at the end of March to approve the next portion, of about $1.15 billion, of the emergency package, which was first agreed in November 2008.
“News of the European Union (EU) announcing a €750 billion package to deal with the sovereign debt crisis plaguing Europe was taken positively by all regional markets, however Pakistan’s market was unable to witness any sparks, as investors opted to remain cautious in anticipation of foreign selling,” said Muzammil Mussani, an analyst at JS Global Capital. Foreigners were net sellers of $9.4 million during Friday last week. Monday’s trade volume dropped 62 per cent to 72 million shares from last Friday’s tally of 181 million shares.
Second-tier stocks were the volume leaders during the day while some activity in the oil, cement, fertiliser and banking sectors was also witnessed. Total exchange value stood at a disappointing Rs2.44 billion. During the day’s trade, 167 stocks closed higher, 237 stocks declined and 23 stocks remained unchanged in value. Lotte Pakistan (KSE: LOTPTA) was the volume leader with 6.21 million shares gaining Rs0.01 to close at Rs11.35.
NIB Bank (KSE: NIB) came second with 5.99 million shares gaining Rs0.02 to close at Rs4.04. Bank of Punjab (KSE: BOP) finished third with 5.38 million shares closing at Rs15.29. Bank of Punjab was also Monday’s KSE-100 top gainer of the day, its share price rising 6.84 per cent. TRG Pakistan (KSE: TRG) was in the losers list dropping 4.2 per cent to Rs4.79. Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (KSE: PNSC) closed in the red, its share price shedding 2.55 per cent to close at Rs45.02. The KSE-100 index hit a 12- month high of 10,677.5 points on April 15, 2010, and has been up 0.16 per cent this year.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.