Pakistan Stock Exchange Records Highest Single Day Gains – OpEd

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During this past week the market lost ground in the first two days amidst rumors about potential increases in the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due to which KSE100 index stayed bearish and the index hit 72,589 level before showing signs of recovery on Wednesday. Market recovered swiftly after the announcement of Federal Budget for FY25. The taxation measures introduced in the budget weren’t as adverse as originally anticipated. On Thursday the index gained 3,410 points, most in a single day and closed at 76,706 level on Friday reaching the highest ever closing, with a gain of 2,952 points, up 4%WoW. 

Despite initial jitters over proposed tax changes, the market recovered, reflecting investors’ confidence amidst pre-budget uncertainty. The week also saw the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announcing a first token rate-cut of 150 bps, adding further to the positivity.

As inflation outlook eases, the cut-off yields in the latest T-Bills auction dropped.

Overall, average trading volumes decreased by 3.8%WoW to 409.6 million shares as compared to 423.3 million shares a week ago.

On the currency front, PPR depreciated by 0.11%WoW to close at 278.51/US$. 

Other major news of the week included: 1) RPK9 billion approved for clearing OMCs’ PDCs, 2) ECC allowed conditional export of 0.15 million tons sugar, 3) In FY25 Budget government announced to raise tax to GDP ratio to 13%, 3) government also announced to float US$1 billion bonds and obtain US$4 billion loans from the foreign banks, 4) FY25 Budget aimed raising PKR3.8 trillion new taxes and , 5) World Bank projected Pakistan’s GDP growth at 2.3%.

According to AKD Securities Commercial Banks, Pharmaceuticals, Oil & Gas Exploration Companies, Oil & Gas marketing companies and Paper & Board were amongst the top performing sectors, while laggards included Textile composite, Woollen, Leasing companies, Food & Personal Care Products and Textile Spinning.

Major net selling was recorded by Individuals with a net sell of US$8.9 million. Mutual funds absorbed most of the selling with a net buy of US$11.1 million. 

Top performing scrips of the week were: BAFL, MCB, NCPL, UBL and KOHC, while laggards included: ILP, PTC, YOUW, COLG and 5) PGLC.

The post-budget market has attained some certainty, particularly in sectors that benefitted from budgetary measures. With the start of monetary easing, optimism is expected to rise, particularly in cyclical sectors.

Furthermore, the approval of the budget paves the way for the upcoming IMF program, which will likely become a significant market catalyst going forward.

Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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