KARACHI: Despite widespread criticism of harsh taxation measures from almost all stakeholders, particularly the trade and industry, the growing anticipation that the budget for 2024-25 would smoothly pass through the National Assembly before the current fiscal year ends on June 30 boosted equity investor confidence on Wednesday.

The enforcement of Finance Bill 2024 from July 1 would pave the way for a new IMF loan, allaying uncertainties about the economic outlook. As a result, the benchmark KSE 100 index surged, snapping the bear run and lifting it above 78,000 amid aggressive foreign buying.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said stocks showed a sharp recovery as investors weighed the government’s deliberations on privatising state-owned enterprises after the prime minister’s assurance that the PIA bidding process would be held in August.

He added that the rupee recovery, amid the approval of $535m of World Bank financing, speculations ahead of fiscal year close, IMF new loan talks due next month, and easing SBP policy rates, catalysed bullish activity at PSX.

According to Topline Securities Ltd, the index witnessed a positive session as investors showed confidence that the budget will likely pass in the upcoming National Assembly session.

In the Oil & Gas Exploration (E&P) sector, OGDC saw a significant rise of 4.87pc following media news that the cabinet approved a payment of Rs82bn.

Fauji Fertiliser, OGDC, Bank Al-Habib, Pakistan Petroleum and Engro Fertiliser were major contributors to the index’s upward movement, collectively adding 486 points. Conversely, Habib Bank, Nestle Pakistan, Meezan Bank, National Bank and Mughal Steel cumulatively shaved off 105 points.

As a result, the benchmark index hit an intraday high at 78,679.50 points and a low of 77,968.91. However, the index closed at 78,275.65 after gaining 335.07 points or 0.14pc on a day-on-day basis.

The overall trading volume surged 60.77pc to 469.77 million shares. The traded value also soared 73.26pc to Rs19.77bn on a day-on-day basis.

Stocks contributing significantly to the traded volume included WorldCall Telecom (57.64m shares), K-Electric (37.63m shares), Pervez Ahmed Consultancy Services Ltd (31.13m shares), OGDCL (27.46m shares) and Hum Network (18.17m shares).

The shares registering the most significant incre­ases in their share prices in absolute terms were Meh­mood Textile (Rs35.05), Sazgar Engineering (Rs18.23), Data Agro (Rs17.06), Mari Petro­leum (Rs14.21) and Fauji Fertiliser (Rs9.93).

The companies registering significant decreases in their share prices in absolute terms were Nestle Pakistan (Rs242.35), Pakis­tan Engineering (61.08), Philip Morris (Rs43.10), Rafhan Maize (Rs42.27) and Ismail Ind (Rs21.67).

Foreign investors turned net buyers as they purcha­sed shares worth $1.77m.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2024

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