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Pakistan’s cement shares become attractive on the PSX

KARACHI: Stocks exten­ded the gaining streak for third session on Monday as the KSE-100 index climbed 501.68 points (1.22 per cent) and closed at 41,614.39.

Investors’ confidence continues to mount as worries over the pressure on the external front have started to subside with positive news flow of possibility of Chinese deposit of $2.5 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan.

It would be in addition to the $2bn remaining tran­ches from UAE and anticipated $1-2bn to be mobilised from recently laun­ched bonds. The planned visit of Saudi crown prince also raised hopes of more support to low foreign excha­nge reserves.

Investors also were enthused by the recent buying spree by foreign investors of stocks worth $30 million in two weeks. However, figures released by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan showed that companies and other local participants entered to pick stocks, while foreigners took a breather. Faces fell for a while on the news of S&P downgrading Pakistan from B to B-, but investors soon shrugged off the downgrade.

The rally was led by cement scrips due to the decline in international coal prices. DG Khan, Fauji, Maple and Cherat all hit their upper circuit while Lucky Cement added 4.7pc to its value.

The volume increased 11pc to 254m shares while the traded value jumped by 16pc to reach $71m. Stocks that contributed significantly included Bank of Punjab, K-Electric, Azgard Nine, Pakistan Interna­tional Bulk Terminal and Power Cement, which accounted for 28pc of the day’s turnover.

According to Arif Habib Ltd, sector-wise contributors included cement, higher by 131 points, banks 103 points, exploration and production 84 points, power 47 points, pharma 40 points and tobacco 24 points. Scrip-wise, major gainers were Lucky Cement, up 4.71pc, Pakistan Petroleum 1.25pc, Bank Al Habib 2.15pc, Pakistan Oilfields 2.06pc and Searle Company 5pc.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2019

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