Equities cross 21,000-level


KARACHI, May 21: Foreign investors went wild on Pakistani equities on Tuesday, picking up a staggering net $26.05 million worth stocks. In consequence the KSE-100 index shot up by 353.86 points to easily cross the barrier of 21,000 points and settle at 21,168 points.

The trading frenzy was evident by the volume, which stood at 444 million shares on Tuesday, representing one-year high. In rupee terms, the volume happened to be at 43 months high.

The foreign bulls have been on the rampage with the aggregate net portfolio inflow of a record $181 million in KSE in just about 15 trading sessions to date in May. However, excepting the net purchases of $0.47 million of shares by ‘banks’, the local individual and institutional investors were all on the ‘sell’ side.

The ‘banks’ sold $12.8m worth equity; mutual funds disposed of $2.76m of stock, ‘other organisations’ offloaded $8.52m and ‘individuals’ were net sellers of stocks valued at $7.96m.

Save for two stocks, all heavy-weight shares on the ‘oil & gas’, sector, the all time favourites of the foreigners continued their steep climb. Cements for their healthy demand were also the overseas’ investors choice picks, while PSO, the biggest oil marketing company continued to hit the ceiling on hopes of resolution of the circular debt crisis that has plagued the company’s financials.

On Tuesday, OGDC added Rs10.53 to its price which closed at Rs231.18; POL was up by Rs2.26 to Rs499.18; Pakistan Petroleum gained Rs3.70 to Rs216.57and Pakistan State Oil ‘hit upper circuit’ adding Rs12.82 to its price which closed at Rs269.31. Since the above stocks hold the highest weightage in the benchmark, they together contributed around 200 points to the index rise.

Equity sales at Arif Habib Limited stated that valuation upgrades along with the expectations that cement prices might increase, fuelled the interest in cement stocks. “The rising tide (of the market) is raising all ships and the move is such that this rise is steady as the market is mostly based on cash unlike in past,” said the dealers.

While much of the market was still bullish in the face of foreigners sustained interest in the market, many market participants recommended caution.

The market capitalisation-based KSE-30 index surged by 321.00 points or 1.99 per cent to close at 16.482.63 points.

Volume jumped by 100 million shares to 444 million shares on Tuesday, from a day ago volume at 344m. Trading value climbed by 51 per cent to Rs16.522 billion, from Rs10.874bn the previous day. Market capitalisation saw addition of Rs82 billion to end at Rs5.153 trillion, from Rs5.071 trillion.

In all, 393 shares came up for trading on Tuesday with 200 ending in the positive territory; 163 in negative and 30 remaining unchanged.

On the 10-volume leaders’ list, Fauji Cement saw trading in huge 64 million shares, up by 70 paisa to Rs11.76. PTCL, dormant for sometime, rose 90 paisa to Rs20.67 on 36 million shares, Lafarge Cement Pakistan saw nominal addition of one paisa to Rs7.98 on 24m shares, Maple Leaf Cement, another retail investors’ favourite gained 38 paisa to Rs21.48 on 18m shares.

Pace (Pak) was up by 14 paisa to Rs4.09 on 15m shares, National Bank of Pakistan gained Rs1.34 to Rs43.84 on 14m shares, KESC was up 29 paisa to Rs6.35 on 14m shares, Telecard Limited rose by 30 paisa to Rs5.39 on 12m shares, Bank of Punjab (right shares) declined by 16 paisa to Rs1.55 on 12m shares and Pakgen Power for the second day hit the ‘upper circuit’ with a gain of Rs1.12 to Rs23.62 on 10m shares.