By S N Syed
KARACHI: Stock market recovered losses of the previous and closed in green during the outgoing week while traders have predicted market to remain under pressure next week because of an increase in the benchmark discount rate by the State Bank of Pakistan.
“We expect the market to remain in pressure in the upcoming week on account of increased policy rate by 50bps to 6.5 percent in the monetary policy announced by the SBP yesterday,” said a weekly market analysis report of Arif Habib Limited.“Hence, we expect investors’ confidence to strengthen only after the appointment of caretaker PM which should contribute towards clarity on the upcoming elections.”
It said that they believe that if no consensus is reached on the candidate for caretaker PM, a parliamentary committee will be formed which will constitute all parties including both the ruling party as well as the opposition party to tackle the political situation in the country.
Market participation exhibited an increase of 4.0pc week on week in volumes while average value declined by3.5pc week on week. Additionally, foreign investors exhibited a net outflow of $26.09 million.
After a bloodbath of 1,971pts in the previous week, the KSE-100 index staged a rally of 451points (up by 1.1% WoW), to close at 42,074pts. The speculation of finalization of caretaker Prime Minister resulted in the equity market to depict a robust return of 1,095pts (up by 2.63% DoD) on Tuesday alone, recovering the losses witnessed in the preceding week. However, as the decision between opposition and the government to finalize care-taker prime minister hit some road blocks, the exchange tumbled 698pts during last two days of the ongoing week.
State Bank of Pakistan increased the benchmark discount rate by 50bps in Friday’s review which is higher than market estimates of 25bps hike. “While the jump in DR is positive for the banking sector, it may likely prove to be detrimental for the market performance going forward,” said a BIPLS weekly analysis report.
According to Elixir Securities, in terms of sector performance, Banks and Fertilizer returned 1.8 percent and 2.6 percent during the week. Rally in Banks was due to expectation of interest rate hike, attractive prices and opening of valuations that happened after constant foreign selling.
Important news of the week monitored by the Topline Securites noted that Meezan Bank (MEBL) notified exchange regarding successful divestment of 2.49 percent stake of its majority shareholder (Noor Financial) to various foreign institutional investors at price of Rs70 per share.
Fatima Energy is seeking approval of an interim tariff for its power production plant and has held two meetings in this regard with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over the past few days.
Pakistan has taken specific actions to save the country from being included in the Grey List by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“Pakistan had been nominated by FATF for the Grey List during February 2018 Plenary meeting; however, official intimation is yet to be received from FATF,” the minister informed the house in a written reply to the National Assembly.
Amongst other sectors related news flow, DG Khan Cement (DGKC) and Bestway Cement (BWCL) announced trial production of their new cement plants in Hub Baluchistan and Farooqia Punjab, respectively, during the week. While DGKC expansion was expected, BWCL early entry was a surprise.
Percentage wise, UNITY, PSX, PAKT, FML and EFOODS were the major gainers while BATA, NATF, SHFA, COLG, and IBFL were the major losers in the benchmark KSE-100 this week.