KARACHI: PTCL declaring a cash dividend of Rs1.75 and EPS Rs1.54, had a positive impact on the market for a short time helping the market reach an intraday high of 10,579.44 while the stock was being traded.
However, at the end of trading, the KSE benchmark index closed 64 points down as institutions sold on the back of a lack of positive developments in the quarter end earnings season. Dealers said the market was likely to remain under pressure until the budget was announced, or when the IMF approved the fifth tranche of its loan programme. The market continued to be dull and the benchmark index closed at 10,455 points on Thursday, with volumes at 115 million shares, 3.5 per cent lower than Wednesday.
The IMF board is likely to meet in mid-May to consider the next tranche of Pakistan’s $11.3 billion loan. Earlier, the board had been scheduled to meet on March 31. However, differences over several issues, including an increase in power tariffs and implementation of a valueadded tax, delayed approval of the tranche. The budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 will be announced in late May or early June. The local bourse continued to follow the bearish trend due to prevailing uncertainty in international markets.
The profit taking strategy of investors led the market to correction in its later hours. “However a better than expected payout by Pakistan Telecommunication Company pulled the scrip to close as a volume leader,” said Topline Securities Analyst Farhan Seth. “Yesterday’s choppy session witnessed an intraday breach of the support level of around 10,500. However, an absence of selling at lower levels provided market participants a bargain hunting opportunity,” said BMA Capital analyst Nurali Barkatali. The day started positively for the market and it went upwards to an intraday high of 10,579.44 then decreased to close at 10,454.63 points.
The market’s opening optiism came on the back of a buying spree of OGDC scrips. At one point the stock’s price went up by 0.5 per cent but was unable to sustain the level and closed at Rs133.13, down by 0.9 per cent. Trading activity dropped by 48.20 points and volumes stood at 7358.62 shares. Activity was equally distributed equally as earnings season has everyone scrambling to reassess stock worth. Out of the total 435 active securities, 148 rose and 276 went down, with 11 remaining unchanged. Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd (PTCL) was the volume leader with 9,151,295 shares being traded. The stock gained Rs0.54 to end at Rs21.48.
Lotte PTA was the second volume leader with 7,371,913 shares being traded, losing Rs0.08 to end at Rs11.05. Unilever gained Rs198.13, a 4.77 per cent increase. Bank Al- Habib’s stock went up Rs0.97, a 3.08 per cent increase. Engro remained under pressure throughout the day, and the share closed at Rs199.93, down by 3.5 per cent. Market analysts hope for more gains on Friday on the back of PTCL’s positive results pushing up volumes.