KARACHI: Despite subdued activity as investors again opted to stay on the sidelines, the Karachi bourse closed in the black mainly on the back of positive news flows regarding the index heavyweight oil and gas sector. The under-pressure telecom sector wiped out the gains after a ‘slightly negative’ outcome in the recent hearing about the international clearing house.
The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index gained 0.3% or 53.99 points to end at 17,926.14 point level. Falling for a third consecutive day, trade volumes were down to a paltry level of 148 million shares compared with Tuesday’s tally of 150 million shares.
“Amid increased production from Tal block renewed buying interest in oil stocks helped index to recover,” reported Samar Iqbal, head of equity sales at Topline Securities. Conflicting news on local cement prices affected the cement stocks, added Iqbal.
Shares of 329 companies were traded on Wednesday. At the end of the day 133 stocks closed higher, 152 declined while 44 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.03 billion.
Pakistan Telecommunication Company was at the receiving end after the Supreme Court, once again, directed the Competition Commission of Pakistan to resolve the ICH case, though the apex court accepted an unconditional apology from long distance international (LDI) operators in the contempt of court matter. The next hearing is scheduled for April 1, 2013.
The ICH gateway will converge all international calls to a single technical gateway led by PTCL against the current practice of being handled by 14 LDI operators.
According to a JS Global Capital note, cumulative oil production from the Makori and Makori-East of the Tal block increased to a new high of 8,131 barrels per day. At the same time, gas production from the fields also increased to a new high of 31.5 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). The boost in production will have a significant positive impact on the earnings of the index-mover oil and gas sector.
Crisis-hit Pakistan International Airlines was the volume leader with 12.27 million shares falling Rs0.29 to finish at Rs7.11 as investors sold the stock due to ambiguity surrounding the national carrier’s fortunes. It was followed by Pakistan Telecommunication Company with 12.1 million shares shedding Rs0.06 to close at Rs19.7 and Lotte Pakistan with 10.67 million shares losing Rs0.3 to close at Rs7.31 as the company is yet to secure any relaxation in duties on its imports.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs95.97 million, according the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2013.
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