KARACHI, May 11: Stocks on Wednesday recovered from the overnight lows as investors were back in the market and made covering purchases in the energy shares under the lead of OGDC after reports about an increase in the Capital Value Tax on shares was contradicted. The KSE 100-share index was up two per cent or 130 points at 7,497.82.

But all roads again led to the PTCL, which was massively traded as no one was inclined to miss the bandwagon being strongly driven by reports of its sell-off before the next month and the scramble for its shares is well-reflected in the fact that it ended at the day’s best bid of Rs71.10.

“It was a rumour that the CVT may be increased from 0.01 to 0.1 per cent in the new budget, circulated by some vested interests to halt the market’s upward drive”, says a leading broker “prompt official denial averted a major fall but those who invented it managed to get away in part with the allied booty”.

News originating from the Indian sources that Reliance of India is interested to have a stake in ICI Pakistan’s PTA business received a mixed reaction as under the existing foreign investment laws Indians are not allowed to bid for Pakistani companies until some changes are made, brokers said.

Pak PTA share in which Reliance is interested has been active for the last couple of sessions apparently on this report broken by the ICI Plc London.

The KSE 100-share index finished with a smart rise of 129.93 points at 7,497.00 as compared to 7,367.69 a day earlier as all the leading base shares, notably energy ones drove it to well above the barrier of 7,400 points.

Pakistan Petroleum, PSO, OGDC, Pakistan Oilfields were the star performers both in terms of gains and volumes followed by PICIC Growth Fund, which came in for active support on reports of higher earnings.

Apart from the PTCL, which continued to derive strength from its imminent sell-off, the other supporting factor on the privatization front was by reports of bidding for the controlling shares of National Refinery on May 31. Eight short-listed companies including some Gulf-based companies are in the line.

Analysts predict an attractive bait of privatization of some mega state-owned units will not allow investors to sit on the sidelines if there in no major irritant on the recently revised forward trading rules.

Leading gainers were led by PSO, Atlas Honda and Wyeth Pakistan, up by Rs9.70 to Rs38.90 followed by Lakson Tobacco, Shell Pakistan, Siemens Pakistan, Berger Paints, United Sugar, and some others, which posted gains ranging from Rs4.90 to Rs6.

Fractional losses covered the entire list but leading losers being Pakistan Refinery, Clariant Pakistan, Faisal Spinning, Island Textiles, Gatron Industries and Aventis, off Rs3.65 to Rs10.

Trading volume soared to 466m shares but losers held a modest lead over the gainers at 159 to 133, with 34 shares holding on to the last levels.

PTCL was again massively traded, up by Rs3.35 at Rs71.10 on 180m shares followed by OGDC, higher by Rs2.20 at Rs102.20 on 101m shares, PSO, up by Rs9.70 at Rs392.90 on 30m shares, D.G.Khan Cement, up by Rs1.70 at Rs62.40 on 25m shares, MCB, firm Rs2.40 at Rs78.85 on 24m shares, National Bank, up by Rs1.35 at Rs98.60 on 17m shares and Pakistan Petroleum, higher by Rs1.95 at Rs190.60 on 14m shares.

Other actives included Pakistan Oilfields, higher by Rs3 on 12m shares, Sui Northern Gas, higher Rs1.70 on 11m shares and PICIC Growth Fund, firm by Rs1.50 on 10m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: PTCL also topped the list of most actives on this counter, higher by Rs3.40 at Rs71.40 on 13m shares followed by PPL, higher by Rs2.70 at Rs192.00 on 8m shares and OGDC, higher by Rs2.05 at Rs102.75 on 7m shares.

PSO followed them, higher by Rs8.95 at Rs393.95 on 4m shares and MCB, higher by Rs2.20 at Rs79.20 on 3m shares. Some others were also actively traded amid light trading.

DEFAULTER COS: Trading activity on this counter shrank to about two dozen shares, which were fractionally traded either-way amid light volume. BOARD MEETINGS: Beema Pakistan, on May 14, Hashimi Can Co, Mehran Sugar, on May 17, Globe Textiles, Globe Textiles (O.E), and D.M. Textiles, on May 21.

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