LAHORE - Pakistan Stock Exchange’s 100-share index ended the week down 0.6 percent on WoW basis as political uncertainty edged up a notch in the aftermath of the Panama Leaks. As a result, both average traded volumes (-31 percent WoW) and value (-18 percent WoW) took a hit. Of the major sectors, cement (-1.5 percent WoW) and power (-1.3 percent WoW) closed in the red zone mainly on account of general profit-taking, whereas oil & gas sector recovered by 1 percent WoW on the back of recovery in international crude oil prices, providing some respite to the overall index level.

Fiazan Ahmed from JS Research stated that a number of major results are expected next week (FFBL, LUCK, HBL and MCB among others), which he believed could contribute to restoring the market’s vigour.

FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga commented that a sense of unease rippled across the global markets following the announcement of China’s Q1 GDP figure of 6.7 percent which was the slowest quarterly growth witnessed since the first quarter of 2009.

According to experts, profit-taking and range bound activity was witnessed at the local bourse during the week as political noise kept gains in check. Moreover, central bank maintained status-quo in interest rates, which added bearish sentiment to the market. Resultantly, benchmark KSE-100 index fell to close at 33,767 index level.

Average daily volume fell 31 percent to 190.3m shares and average daily value declined 18 percent to Rs8.7b/$82.3m in the outgoing week.

Household goods topped the gainers list on sector level as it rose 11.4 percent over the week. Other gainers included personal goods and oil & gas, which rose 1.4 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. Tobacco and fixed line telecommunication shed the most value as they declined 14.6 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net sellers of $1.5m during the week. Net selling worth $7.4m was seen in banking sector stocks. Cement stocks continued to attract attention as net buying worth $3.9m was seen in them.

During the week, Habib Metropolitan Bank (HMB) announced 1Q2016 consolidated earnings of Rs1.6b (EPS Rs1.6), up 17 percent YoY. Earnings were mainly driven by higher capital gains, which increased by 38 percent YoY to Rs1.0b in 1Q2016 likely on the back of PIBs gain (Rs249m capital gains booked in 4Q2015). Provisioning expense was also down 45 percent YoY to Rs418m. Bank’s net interest income was down 11 percent YoY to Rs2.8b in 1Q2016. Byco Petroleum (BYCO) informed through a PSX notice that board of directors of the company had approved a potential merger (by way of amalgamation) of Byco Oil Pakistan Ltd. and Byco Terminals Pakistan Ltd with and into the company. Former is the parent company while the latter is its wholly owned subsidiary. As per news reports, Ministry of Water & Power (MoW&P) is to arrange Rs25b from commercial banks to inject into power sector through Power Holding Pvt. Ltd. (PHPL). This will be made part of tariff at an appropriate time. MoW&P and Ministry of Finance (MoF) are working on a settlement plan to deal with power sector liabilities; current and accrued dues on account of various subsidies total ~Rs168b, as per the news report. Power sector statistics are improving – recoveries were at an all-time high of 93.4 percent and transmission & distribution losses have reduced to 18 percent, an all time low.

Govt is planning to raise Rs100b in Islamic bonds to fund Neelum Jehlum hydropower plant, country’s fourth largest hydropower plant. It is expected to generate 969MW of electricity and is expected to come online in 2017.

During the week, Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTC) reported consolidated earnings of Rs0.35/sh in 1QCY16 compared to Rs0.14/sh during same period last year, up 2.5xYoY. The growth in earnings comes about on account of 2.76xYoY higher other income clocking in at Rs2.4b. The top-line of the company continued to slide downward in 1QCY16, clocking at Rs29.3b from Rs30.2b 1QCY15.