Stocks surge after Saudi assures IMF on Pakistan deposits
- KSE-100 continues upward march with minor oscillations.
- Benchmark index records increase of 633.74 points, or 1.6%.
- Investors celebrate confirmation of Saudi deposit to Pakistan.
Pakistan stocks surged on Thursday as Saudi Arabia’s assurances on Pakistan deposits to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set off a massive buying binge among economy-wary investors.
The bullish sentiment prevailed throughout the day, keeping the KSE-100 index — the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) — in positive territory as the rupee also recovered against the dollar.
The IMF has conveyed to Pakistan that it has received confirmation from Saudi Arabia on $2 billion in additional deposits, rekindling hopes of an early signing of the agreement.
Islamabad has been negotiating with the IMF since the end of January for the release of $1.1 billion from a $6.5 billion bailout package agreed upon in 2019. To unlock the funding, the government has cut back on subsidies, removed an artificial cap on the exchange rate, added taxes and raised fuel prices.
However, assurances from friendly nations for additional funds have delayed the agreement.
Sources confirmed to The News on Wednesday that the lender had informed the Pakistani authorities about the development and the Fund staff seemed largely satisfied with the latest confirmation.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani rupee, in the interbank market, closed at 284.42 against the US dollar, up 1.2% or Rs3.43 from Wednesday’s close of 287.85, according to data from the State Bank of Pakistan.
In the stock market, the trading session started on a positive note and the KSE-100 index continued its upward march with minor oscillations.
The benchmark index touched 40,374.33 points during the intraday trade, but at the close, the KSE-100 recorded an increase of 633.74 points, or 1.6%, to settle at 40,350.89 points.
In a note, Arif Habib Limited noted that investor participation grew significantly as the index made an intraday high of 657.18 points, as investors opted to add value to their portfolios with the E&P and Cement sectors staying in the spotlight.
Sectors contributing to the performance included include E&P’s (+202.2 points), fertiliser (+85.4 points), cement (+75.7 points), technology and communication (+60.2 points), and commercial banks (+49.8 points).
Shares of 354 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 253 scrips closed in the green, 79 in the red, and 22 remained unchanged.
Overall trading volumes rose to 171.66 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 86.72 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs5.1 billion.
Silk Bank Limited was the volume leader with 21.28 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.08 to close at Rs1.1. It was followed by Pakistan Petroleum Limited with 13.57 million shares traded, gaining Rs4.72 to close at Rs67.88 and Telecard Limited with 10.98 million shares gaining Rs0.22 to close at Rs8.13.