PSX above 70k on Saudi investment promise

In Business
April 13, 2024



KARACHI:

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) broke records one after another during the outgoing week when investors took the KSE-100 index above the psychological barrier of 70,000 points over reports of Saudi Arabia’s willingness to invest billions of dollars and upcoming talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bigger loan programme.

Though the market remained open for only two days during the week due to Eidul Fitr holidays, the index added nearly 1,900 points to its tally.

A marked increase in remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis and a stable rupee against the US dollar also gave a push to the market’s positive momentum.

On Monday, the bourse skyrocketed to a record high above 69,000 points just a day ahead of Eid holidays as investors took cue from the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia and talks about $1 billion Saudi investment in the Reko Diq copper and gold mining project.

Next day, stocks achieved another milestone as they breached the 70,000-point barrier and rose to a new all-time high in the backdrop of favourable data of remittances that soared 16.4% year-on-year (YoY) to $2.95 billion in March 2024.

Overall, the benchmark KSE-100 index soared 1,898 points, or 2.77% week-on-week (WoW), and closed at 70,315.

Topline Securities, in its report, noted that the KSE-100 index gained 2.77% WoW during the shortened week before Eid holidays as the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia along with a delegation garnered investors’ interest in the market.

The commitment shown by Riyadh to expediting the implementation of a $5 billion investment plan provided further stimulus to the market.

Upcoming finance minister’s trip to Washington on April 13 to attend spring meetings of the World Bank and the IMF and discuss a new loan programme also provided confidence to investors.

During the week, remittances for March clocked in at $2.95 billion, up 31% month-on-month and 16% YoY, the highest figure after 22 months.

At the PSX, average daily traded volumes and value during the week under review stood at 362 million shares and Rs16.27 billion, respectively, Topline added.

Arif Habib Limited (AHL), in its commentary, wrote that the stock market maintained its upward trajectory during the two-day working week, settling at an all-time high above 70,000 points.

Positive sentiment stemmed from an agreement between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to expedite application of the planned Saudi investment package of $5 billion during PM Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to the kingdom.

Moreover, Pakistan government’s bonds of $1 billion in the international capital market are set to mature on April 15, 2024. Furthermore, remittances increased by 16% YoY to around $3 billion during March 2024, the highest inflows after April 2022, AHL said.

Additionally, during the week, Pakistani rupee remained unchanged at 277.94 against the US dollar.

Sector-wise, positive contributors to the stock market were commercial banks (563 points), fertiliser (344 points), exploration and production (250 points), power (179 points) and oil marketing companies (106 points).

Meanwhile, the sectors that mainly contributed negatively were automobile parts (four points) and insurance (three points).

Stock-wise, positive contributors were Fauji Fertiliser Company (352 points), Hub Power (176 points), Meezan Bank (172 points), UBL (113 points) and MCB Bank (89 points).

Foreign investors’ buying continued during the outgoing week as well as they bought shares worth $4.2 million compared to net buying of $3.9 million in the previous week.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2024.

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