Market watch: Banks fuel gains on stock exchange

Benchmark 100-share index increases 192.61 points.

Our Correspondent June 18, 2015
Benchmark 100-share index increases 192.61 points

KARACHI: Financial shares led activity on the stock market on Thursday as interest in the sector swelled, but major activity was limited to a few top-tier institutions.

Additionally, investors remained stuck to blue-chip stocks encouraged by positive government policies.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100-share index recorded a rise of 0.56% or 192.61 points to end at 34,674.61.

An analyst of Topline Securities said interest was seen in index heavyweights including Oil and Gas Development Company and MCB Bank, which contributed 80 points to the total gains.

“Expectations of better dividend payments in June results of IPPs (independent power producers) led to investor interest in the IPPs as stocks rallied 0.2% to 5%.”

According to the analyst, renewed interest was seen in the banking sector. Major activity was confined to big banks like MCB Bank, up by 3.3%, HBL and UBL, up by 1%. “Mid-tier stocks remained in the limelight.”

JS Global analyst said positivity was noted across all sectors. “Amongst significant news, the banking sector depicted a growth of 58% over the same quarter of last year.

This translated into a bullish momentum in the banking sector as Askari Bank, Bank Alfalah, Bank Al Habib, MCB Bank and UBL ended 2.3%, 2.4%, 1.5%, 2.4% and 1.1% higher, according to the analyst.

“Cement sector also remained strong with healthy volumes. As the Economic Coordination Committee increased import duty on sugar to 40% from 20%, local manufacturers remained bullish across the board with almost all stocks registering healthy gains.”

Trade volumes decreased to 450 million shares compared to 540 million on Wednesday. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.4 billion.

Shares of 394 companies were traded. Of these, 252 companies closed higher, 118 fell and 24 remained unchanged.

K-Electric Limited was the volume leader with 48.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs8.84. It was followed by Dewan Cement with 40.4 million shares, gaining Rs1 to close at Rs12.25 and Dewan Salman with 23.7 million shares, gaining Rs0.61 to close at Rs2.48.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs336 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th,  2015.

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