KSE-100 Sees Modest Gains Amid Diverse Market Activity

Karachi: The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE-100) index recorded a modest increase yesterday, closing up by 49 points at 80,283, with significant trading volume of 496 million shares. The trading session saw notable price changes, particularly with stocks like PSX, PGLC, and NATF performing strongly, while FFBL, FCEPL, and NBP faced declines.

According to Turus Securities Limited, market activity was predominantly focused on sectors such as banking, investment companies, and technology. The day's trading dynamics reflect broader economic themes and government actions impacting various sectors from finance to energy.

The government is poised to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) on the initiative "Azm-e-Istehkam", aiming to solidify national stability and economic strategies. Concurrently, market actors are reacting to increases in the prices of packaged milk and infant formula, as well as mixed responses among petroleum dealers regarding potential strikes, amidst governmental negotiations.

Further developments include a boost in forex reserves, which have risen to $5 billion due to foreign inflows, indicating a strengthening economic position. However, this positive news contrasts with widespread dissatisfaction concerning the recent budget, perceived as unjust by multiple sectors including the Ministry of Commerce and exporters, who have expressed their discontent with the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Board of Revenue.

Other significant updates include ongoing discussions on the privatization of the Housing Building Finance Corporation and Pakistan International Airlines, with the government affirming its commitment to accelerating these processes. In the tax arena, there has been a notable revenue loss due to exemptions on petroleum and oil products, along with controversies sparked by new taxes on unregistered retailers and non-filers, resulting in the blocking of 210,000 SIM cards.

The energy sector remains a focal point with high electricity costs acknowledged by the Energy Minister and upcoming regulatory hearings by Nepra to finalize the revision of the Schedule of Tariffs. Meanwhile, the financial markets have observed record inflows into treasury bills and equities in the fiscal year 2024.

In corporate developments, PSO is navigating the early stages of a significant $1.5 to $2 billion investment in Pakistan Refinery Limited’s refinery project, and Tri-Pack Films has completed an expansion of its new BOPP film production line, promising enhancements in production capacity and product offerings.