KARACHI: The stock market maintained an upward journey, setting a new record closing on Monday despite a brief suspension of trading due to a fire that erupted in the PSX building in the early hours of the session.

Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation attributed the market’s rally to the expectation of a robust earning season as investors eye the IMF Staff-Level Agre­ement after the government measures for tax reforms in the federal budget FY25.

He said speculations about strong corporate payouts, an easing SBP monetary policy, and World Bank approval for support to the private sector in privatising ailing state-owned enterprises contributed to the bullish close at the PSX.

Topline Securities Ltd said trading was halted for two hours due to a fire on the 4th floor of the bourse building, which was evacuated, and trading resumed once the blaze was controlled.

The cement and banking sectors continued their positive momentum from last week, with Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd, Fauji Cement Company Ltd, Lucky Cement Ltd, D.G. Khan Cement Company Ltd, National Bank, Allied Bank, and Habib Bank collectively contributing 267 points to the positive index.

As a result, the benchmark index hit an intraday high of 80,737.71 points and a low of 80,192.31. However, the index settled at 80,566.21 after adding 353.41 points or 0.77pc on a day-on-day basis.

However, the overall trading volume shrank 41.72pc to 261.64 million shares. The traded value also dipped 31.43pc to Rs13.02bn on a day-on-day basis.

Foreign investors turned net sellers as they offloaded shares worth $0.27m.

PSX chief to join Jazz

Farrukh H. Khan, the outgoing chief executive officer and managing director of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), has joined the telecom sector.

Jazz announced on Monday that Mr Farrukh has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer of Jazz and CEO of Micro-Finance Holdings. He will assume the charge on Sept 15 as his two-month notice period to PSX ends in early September.

Rumours were circulating in the capital market that Mr Khan was leaving the PSX due to differences with the board. He had submitted his resignation last week and it was accepted immediately by the PSX board. He was serving as CEO & MD of PSX since 2020.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2024

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