KARACHI: Pakistani stocks dipped sharply on Monday as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told parliament of his cabinet’s plans to initiate a high treason case against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf. “Musharraf will have to answer for his guilt before the court,” Sharif told the National Assembly. News of the prospective trial jittered nervous investors concerned about short-term political stability, and sent the Karachi Stock Exchange’s benchmark share index plunging 3 per cent.
The KSE-100 index closed 650.27 points lower at 21,048.08, just slightly above the psychological 21,000-level.
The index might have fallen more if the Karachi Stock Exchange had not suspended trading in major shares that had fallen 5 per cent.
“Considering the enormity of the government decision, some investors feared the market could crash,” said securities analyst Khurram Shahzad of Arif Habib Group.
The KSE-30 index closed 506 points lower to close at 16332.14 points while the All-Shares index dropped by 431.66 points.
Out of total 380 active scrips, 319 shed value.
Engro Corporation Ltd fell 5 per cent to 126.10 rupees, while Pakistan State Oil was down 4.27 percent to 305.97 rupees.
Nestle Pakistan and Colgate Palmolive Ltd lost their per share values by Rs 329 to close at Rs 6,251 and Rs 65 to close at Rs 1,735 respectively.
The Karachi stock market had already suffered a major pull back with the KSE-100 index down by 814 points or 13.1 per cent in the week ending Friday.
Meanwhile, the rupee ended almost steady on Monday at 98.86/98.92 against the dollar, compared to Friday’s close of 98.88/98.93.
Overnight rates in the money market fell to 9 percent from Friday’s close of 9.40 per cent.