LAHORE   -  The first public address (after taking oath) of Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister Imran Khan — in which the premier promised wide ranging reforms with a focus on safeguarding Pakistan's resources and their redistribution from the rich to the disadvantaged — failed to have an spillover effect on the Pakistan Stock Exchange as investors remained unenlightened on govt’s future action plans on deteriorating economic situation. Market closed flat, down 22 points, to close at 42,424 points.

In an economic development that came in after market closing hours, Pakistan’s current account deficit (CAD) for July 2018 clocked in at $2.2b, up 14 percent YoY, considerably higher than market’s expectations. Market participation remained dull as volumes were down 24 percent to 147.6m shares while value fell 20 percent to US$51.8bn. In Monday's trading session, cement and fertilizer sectors cumulatively added 53pts to the index. However, oil & gas marketing companies, oil & gas exploration and insurance chipped away 42 points, keeping the index flat.

Experts said, “We should admit, at least not in Pakistan's recent history, has any newly elected Prime Minister (PM) emphasized governance, accountability & social sector reforms as vigorously as is the case now. Interestingly, CPEC could barely find any significant mention to the level we have seen in the past. Rather, the PM has so far stood his ground post elections, continuing to build up expectations while keeping hope alive for a real change. Hypothetically speaking, if there was a choice where the new government could make only one positive change, we believe it should be setting up a strategic policymaking framework, which could pave the way for institutional reforms. Provided the new PM delivers on his promises, these unprecedented times would mark a paradigm shift in our national history.” Experts recommended giving hope another chance, however, said beware of potential risks, which could limit the hope-based rally in the immediate term.

On Monday, EFU General Insurance (EFUG) announced its 2Q2018 result with EPS of Rs3.23 down 26.7 percent YoY. Jubliee Life Insurance Company (JLICL) also disclosed its 2Q2018 result posting EPS of Rs7.93, down 40 percent YoY vs. EPS of Rs13.20 in the similar quarter last year.  Lalpir Power (LPL) posted its 2Q2018 result with EPS of Rs0.58 down 29 percent YoY. Decline in earnings is attributed to higher administrative expenses, up 90 percent YoY, and higher oil prices, up 48 percent YoY. Sales for the company also declined by 9 percent YoY.