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Bears hold sway at PSX as political tensions weigh



  • KSE-100 index plunges 388.62 points to settle at 42,873.35.
  • Benchmark index falls below 43,000-point mark.
  • Uncertainty in international crude oil market also fuelled bearish momentum.

KARACHI: The bears maintained their control over the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday, in line with the preceding session, as the market reacted to repercussions of political uncertainty.

In the backdrop of a worsening political scenario coupled with poor economic data as a result of the rising geopolitical tensions and commodity prices in the international market, the index fell below the 43,000-point mark.

At the close, the benchmark KSE-100 index plunged 388.62 points, or 0.90%, to settle at 42,873.35 points.

Political instability following the Opposition’s decision to submit the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly Secretariat impacted the investment climate.

Uncertainty in the international crude oil market coupled with projections benchmark interest rate also fuelled the bearish momentum.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) later after the session announced that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to hold the policy rate at 9.75% for the next six weeks.

Arif Habib Limited in its post-market commentary noted that a volatile session was observed today due to political unrest and an overheated commodities cycle.

“The market opened in the red zone and stayed under pressure throughout the day,” it said, adding that the cement sector stayed in the red zone due to mounting international coal prices.

Meanwhile, in the last trading hour, across the board selling was witnessed.

Sectors contributing to the performance included banks (-85.8 points), cement (-67.7 points), exploration and production (-62.1 points), power (-37.3 points) and oil marketing companies (-34 points).

Shares of 343 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 102 scrips closed in the green, 223 in the red, and 18 remained unchanged.

Overall trading volumes dropped to 226.10 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 236.88 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs7.12 billion.

TPL Corporation was the volume leader with 17.35 million shares traded, losing Re1 to close at Rs10.46. It was followed by Unity Foods with 17.18 million shares traded, losing Rs1.49 to close at Rs23.64, and Ghani Global Holdings with 16.90 million shares traded, losing Rs0.87 to close at Rs15.83.


Petrol, diesel prices likely to go down from April 1




  • Petrol rate likely to reduce by Rs4-5 per litre.
  • Rs15-20 per litre reduction expected in diesel price.
  • Sources hint at possibility of prices remaining unchanged.

Following a reduction in international crude oil prices, the rates of petroleum products in Pakistan are expected to decline from April 1, Geo News reported Wednesday.

According to estimates of oil marketing companies (OMCs), the price of diesel is likely to decline by Rs15-20 per litre while the price of petrol is expected to go down by Rs4-5 per litre.

However, well-placed sources in the industry said that there is a possibility that the Finance Division keeps the price unchanged.

In its last fortnight bulletin, the federal government raised the price of petrol to Rs272 per litre.

The Finance Division attributed the price hike to the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and an increase in the prices registered by Platts Singapore.

The price of MS (petrol) was increased by Rs5 per litre and the price of hi-speed diesel was increased by Rs13 per litre.

The increase in the price of kerosene oil was kept at Rs2.56 by reducing the government’s dues on it. Similarly, the price of light diesel oil was kept constant by adjusting the government dues as well.

The new prices came into effect on March 16 and will remain in place till March 31.

The Finance Division will announce the news rates on March 31 which will remain in place for the next 15 days. 

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Banks to observe extended working hours




At the request of the Federal Board of Revenue, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday directed all branches of banks to observe extended banking hours in order to facilitate the taxpayers in payment of government duties/taxes.

The central bank, in a statement issued in this regard, said that the direction is for all branches of banks including the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC).

“[…] all branches of banks including National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC) shall observe extended banking hours until 04:00 P.M. and 06:00 P.M. on 30th and 31st March 2023 respectively for collection of government taxes through ADC’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) facility,” the statement read.

It mentioned that National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) shall arrange a special clearing at 6pm on March 31 (Friday) for the same-day clearing of payment instruments deposited at NBP’s authorised branches for customs collections.

“For this purpose, all banks shall arrange to keep their clearing-related branches open till such time that is necessary to facilitate the special clearing by NIFT on March 31, 2023 (Friday),” it read.

It should be noted that during Ramadan, banks observe reduced hours. Currently, the timings are:

Public dealing timings:

  • Monday to Thursday — 9am to 2pm (without break)
  • Friday — 8:30am to 1pm (without break)

Office timings:

  • Monday to Thursday — 9am to 3:30pm (with prayer break from 2pm to 2:30pm)
  • Friday — 8:30am to 1pm (without break)

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PM Shehbaz takes notice of gas loadshedding during sehr, iftar




  • PM Shehbaz says he has already taken notice of the matter.
  • Premier summons a meeting to discuss issue of gas loadshedding.
  • “We will leave no stone unturned to address this issue,” PM says.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday assured the members of the National Assembly that his government would address the issue of gas loadshedding during sehr and iftar as inflation-weary people have been registering complaints.

The prime minister, responding to a point of order raised by MNA Syed Agha Rafiullah, told the house that he had already taken notice of the matter.

PM Shehbaz shared that he had already summoned a meeting to be held later in the day, to discuss the issue of gas loadshedding.

“We will leave no stone unturned to address this issue,” the prime minister assured the house.

Earlier, a parliamentarian from Karachi’s Malir area drew the house’s attention to the problem of gas loadshedding being faced by the people, particularly those of Karachi, during sehr and iftar.

He said though the prime minister had already taken notice of the situation, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) needed to be directed to resolve the issue and provide uninterrupted supply during sehr and iftar.

Last week, the SSGC said gas would be supplied to domestic consumers during the holy month of Ramadan, but for limited hours — a move that irked consumers who complained of not getting enough of this essential fuel during mealtimes.

The utility had said that the gas pressure would be low from 8am to 2:30pm as it was facing a shortfall of 250 million mmbtu.

According to the SSGC helpline, for iftar, gas will be supplied to consumers in Karachi from 2:30pm to 7pm, while for sehr it will be available from 2:30am to 5am.

The gas utility added that consumers would face complete suspension or low pressure during the rest of the hours. 

However, the people have been complaining that gas remained suspended during sehr and iftar which forced them to purchase meals from hotels and restaurants which burdened their pockets.

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