Mumbai, The KSE-100 index, a benchmark for market performance in Pakistan, has achieved a new milestone this week, registering a significant gain of 4.3%. Closing at a record high of 55,391, the index reflects a robust upward trend in the country's stock market.
According to JS Research, the average daily trading volumes also saw a notable increase, reaching 544 million shares, which is a 21% week-on-week rise. The focal point of the week's market activity was centered around the ongoing discussions between the Government of Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The negotiations, crucial for the country's economic stability, included deliberations on implementing structural adjustments in tax collection. Key areas of focus were the introduction of new taxes on sectors such as agriculture, real estate, and retail.
In the energy sector, the IMF expressed concerns about the delay in the notification for a gas tariff hike. However, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) eventually announced significant tariff increases ranging from 20% to 150% for residential consumers and 5% to 193% for various industries, effective from November 1st, 2023. Furthermore, in the Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIB) auction held during the week, cut-off yields saw a reduction across various maturities, marking a positive sign for the country's debt market.
Another notable development was the decline in international oil prices (WTI), which fell below $80 per barrel. This drop was attributed to supply disruptions in the Middle East and a decrease in demand from major economies like the US and China. Additionally, Pakistan's foreign worker remittances saw a 10% year-on-year increase, reaching $2.46 billion, the highest in the last seven months. A significant portion of this increase was contributed by remittances from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, accounting for around 60% of the month-on-month rise.