Pakistan Stock Exchange Benchmark Index Posts 3.02% WoW Increase – OpEd

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) sustained its positive momentum and surged to record highs. The benchmark index closed at record high of 57,397 points on Thursday before posting a slight correction to close at 57,063 points on Friday, posting an impressive 3.02%WoW increase.

During the week investors remained focus on the IMF review, concluding with a successful staff-level agreement, paving way for a US$700 million inflow post-IMF Board approval.

A major but negative development was the government’s decision to impose a 40% tax on banks’ windfall income, meeting IMF demands and to agree on further revision in the gas prices in January 2924.

There was a noteworthy increase in remittances, surging to US$2.21 billion. In addition, international oil prices experienced a considerable ease, attributed to increased US strategic reserves and reduced demand from China.

Market participation witnessed a substantial improvement, taking average daily trading volume to 687 million shares, registering a 26%WoW increase from earlier week’s average of 544 million shares.

Notably, Thursday saw participation cross one million share mark for the first time in last 28 months.

On the currency front, the rupee appreciated marginally by 0.19%WoW against the greenback, closing at PKR286.5/US$ on Friday.

Other notable news of the week included: 1) MSCI keeping Pakistan’s Frontier Market Index unchanged, 2) Debt/ liabilities soaring to PKR78 trillion, 3) Bank deposits rising 18%YoY on high rates and currency crackdown, 4) Car sales plunging by 24%MoM in October, 5) UAE firms expressing intent to invest US$25 billion in real estate sector.

Close-end Mutual Funds, Synthetic & Rayon, and Woollen were amongst the top performing sectors. Vanaspati & Allied Industries, Commercial Banks, and Textile Weaving were amongst the laggards.

Major net selling was recorded by Banks with a net sell of US$9.14 million. Foreigners remained bullish with a net buy of US$8.22 million.

Top performing scrips during the week were: HGFA , PAEL, RMPL, IBFL, and PKGP, while top laggards included: BIPL, BAFL, CNERGY, PABC, and MEBL.

Despite the benchmark index reaching record highs, the market remains at attractive valuations.

Analysts maintain their positive outlook on the market owing to favorable economic developments like improving inflation and expected monetary easing in the current fiscal year.

While the market is flourishing, Analysts strongly advise market participants to avoid potential pitfalls and instead concentrate on companies with robust fundamentals.

Furthermore, companies with healthy dividend yields can be a prudent strategy for navigating inflation safely.