Market watch: Activity heats up after Unilever announcement

Market breaches 16,500 points barrier before settling lower


Our Correspondent November 28, 2012

KARACHI: The Karachi bourse tested new highs midway during the trading week, breaching the 16,500 points barrier in an historic first during intraday trade. However, the euphoria was short-lived, as investors booked profits and pushed the index down to close with more modest gains.

The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.36% or 59.26 points to end at the 16,424.03 points level. Trade volumes pared to 313 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 318 million shares. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.62 billion.

“The day charged up after [a] parent company of Unilever Pakistan officially announced [its intention] to buy back Unilever shares at a price of Rs9,700 per share and subsequently delist the entity from all three stock exchanges,” commented Elixir Securities analyst Sibtain Mustafa. “[The] momentum soon trickled to Engro, as it tested new highs on [a] whopping 14 million shares, as investors betted on revised value of its corporation after [the] recent performance of Engro Foods.

“Furthermore, Engro Fertilizer continued to provide comfort, as [a] consensus over its gas allocation ahead of [the] election year helped build confidence. Almost all blue chips witnessed [higher] volumes, as smart money found its way to first tier stocks. Oils and banks trended with marginal participation, as cements continue to test highs on cheap valuations. However, late selling by institutions pulled the index down to close with trimmed gains,” he said.

Shares of 413 companies were traded on Wednesday.

“The buyback announcement from Unilever management brought renewed interest in the stock, as investors anticipate the deal to be struck at a higher level. Meanwhile, investors’ interest was also seen in other consumer stocks like Nestle and Efoods,” reported Samar Iqbal, equity dealer at Topline Securities.

Fauji Cement was the volume leader with 40.18 million shares gaining Rs0.04 to finish at Rs6.94. It was followed by Karachi Electric Supply Company with 35.09 million shares gaining Rs0.06 to close at Rs6.62 and Dewan Cement with 19.50 million shares gaining Rs0.30 to close at Rs5.48.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs247.32 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2012.

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