Stock market sheds 2pc amid political uncertainty

Lahore –  Pakistan’s Benchmark KSE-100 index fell 2.3 percent or 930points WoW to close above 39k mark, which is lowest weekly closing in 74 weeks.

Resurgence of domestic political noise where market sensed a likely repeat of 2014 sit-ins by certain opposition parties given release of inquiry report, recent statements by top politicians, and precedence already set by religious parties’ earlier sit-ins, had dented sentiments during the week.

Meanwhile 2017’s favourite gas marketing Sui Co’s got a reality check when OGRA proposed new tariffs that may reduce their profitability. Oil prices took a mid-week dip as well as US gasoline inventories came in higher than expected, while PSX’s new proposals for circuit breakers also rattled retail investors.

However, some respite was witnessed during the week when Rupee slipped against USD to Rs107 and triggered some buying in hedge/export sectors like E&Ps, IPPs, textiles & tech.

Stocks including HBL (-4 percent WoW), KAPCO (-14 percent), SNGP (-13 percent), UBL (-4 percent) and PSO (-7 percent) held 404pts from the index, while PPL (+4 percent), NESTLE (+11 percent), PAKT (+6 percent), NATF (+10 percent) and DAWH (+2 percent) added 188pts. On the sector front; Cable & Electrical shed 8 percent, OMCs & Refineries were down 7 percent apiece, while E&Ps gained 1 percent, Tobacco was up 4 percent, and Food surged 7 percent.

Foreigners bought $1.0 million during the week (selling of $39.5 million last week). On the local front, the insurance sector was net buyers of $6.4 million whereas individuals were the net sellers of $9.7 million. During the week, US dollar rate started stabilizing after deteriorating unexpectedly in the interbank market.

After shooting to Rs108.5 in the morning, the dollar was being traded for Rs105.8 in the interbank market around noon, which later on closed at Rs107.

SBP is of the view that this market-driven adjustment in the exchange rate will contain the imbalance in the external account and sustain higher growth trajectory.

Political activities around Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) headquarters in Lahore have increased following the release of Justice Baqir Najafi’s report with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leaders throwing their weight behind PAT.

PTI leaders at a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Friday discussed Justice Najafi’s report on the 2014 Model Town tragedy following which the party decided to send a six-member delegation to meet Dr Qadri in Lahore.

In a statement issued after the meeting, PTI echoed PAT’s demand for resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. “There is no justification for Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah to remain in office,” PTI said in a statement.

On Thursday, the PPP joined PAT in its demand for resignation of Punjab chief minister, when its co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari announced to work with Dr Qadri following a lengthy meeting between the two leaders in Lahore.

Following a major technical fault of leakage during the newly-constructed LNG terminal’s commissioning phase at Port Qasim, the shortage in the province started worsening. “Since the domestic sector demand is gradually growing due to winter and there is also no supply of the additional RLNG (600MMCFD), we finally withdrew the system gas [local gas] from the industry.

But we will keep supplying Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) to the industry that is already using it,” SNGPL Managing Director Amjad Lateef said. “We have also curtailed over 150MMCFD of RLNG supply to three major power plants in Punjab-Kapco, Rousch and Nandipur. We will not be able to give them gas till receipt of additional 600MMCFD of RLNG from the new terminal, which has developed a fault and that may take eight to 10 days for rectification,” he said.

Kot Addu Power (KAPCO) and Dawood Hercules (DAWH), in separate notices to the bourse, have mutually agreed to terminate the share purchase agreements (SPA) and further processing of the transaction for the acquisition of Hub Power (HUBC).

Sazgar Engineering Works (SAZEW) reported to PSX production/sales of 1,769/1,770units of auto rickshaw for November 2017. Synthetic Products Enterprises (SPEL) informed PSX that trial production at newly constructed Rahim Yar Khan facility has started.

Azgard Nine (ANL) was ordered by Lahore High Court to hold election of directors within 1 month based on current shareholding.

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