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KSE-100 index gains over 250 points on positive cues

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  • Massive recovery of rupee against US dollar triggered bullish sentiment among market players.
  • Trading session kicked off in green and until midday, KSE-100 continued to fluctuate in a narrow range.
  • At close, KSE-100 index closed at 42,716.97 points after gaining 0.61%.

KARACHI: The bears took a break from the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday as it surged into the green territory, with investors taking cues from the agreement between Pakistan and Chinese banks for inflows worth $2.3 billion.

Massive recovery of the rupee against the US dollar by 2.7% day-on-day in the interbank market triggered bullish sentiment among market players.

Moreover, constant assurance from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail regarding the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme sparked optimism among market participants, who resorted to making fresh purchases.

Earlier, the trading session kicked off in the green and until midday, the benchmark KSE-100 index continued to fluctuate in a narrow range.

At close, the benchmark KSE-100 index closed at 42,716.97 points after gaining 258.83 points or 0.61%.

Benchmark KSE-100 indec intra-day trading curve. — PSX data portal
Benchmark KSE-100 indec intra-day trading curve. — PSX data portal

Arif Habib Limited in its post-market commentary noted that the benchmark KSE-100 index was dominated by the bulls today.

“Across the board rally was witnessed as Chinese consortium of banks signed an RMB 15 billion ($2.3 billion) loan facility agreement which resulted in the recovery of Pakistani rupee against the US dollar,” it stated.

Meanwhile, volumes also remained healthy across the board. The independent power producers (IPP) sector remained in limelight as the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet approved Rs149 billion for the power sector to be paid to the IPPs and K-Electric in the current fiscal year.

Sectors contributing to the performance included power (+74.8 points), banks (+52.2 points), technology (+26.4 points), oil marketing companies (+25.9 points) and cement (+15 points).

Shares of 347 companies were traded during the session. At the close of trading, 235 scrips closed in the green, 87 in the red, and 25 remained unchanged.

Overall trading volumes rose to 349.48 million shares compared with Wednesday’s tally of 266.09 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs10.13 billion.

Cnergyico PK Limited was the volume leader with 37.4 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.22 to close at Rs5.78. It was followed by Pakistan Refinery with 29.34 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.56 to close at Rs19.54 and K-Electric with 27.96 million shares traded, gaining Rs0.19 to close at Rs2.85.

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“Ready to work with Pakistan’s new government,” the IMF said.

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In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

In response to the former premier’s request, IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozak stated, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments,” during a news conference.

She continued by saying that they “look forward to working on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens with the new government.”

In addition to stating that the plan is “supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilise the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable,” Kozack said the lender increased the total disbursements under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) to $1.9 billion.

This has been accomplished by closely adhering to budgetary constraints and safeguarding the social safety net. In order to keep foreign exchange reserves growing and rein in inflation, a strict monetary policy stance has been maintained, the speaker stated.

The PTI founding chairman decided to write a letter to the international lender, asking it to demand an audit of the election held on February 8 before it proceeds with discussions with Islamabad for a new loan programme. This move prompted the IMF to release its statement.

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In a new IMF agreement, Pakistan would “raise” the FBR tax-to-GDP ratio to 15%.

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The state bank reserves will be maintained at a level equivalent to three months’ worth of import bills, according to sources in the Finance Ministry.

According to sources, the ministry has also set a goal to maintain the primary balance surplus and reduce the current account deficit.

The ministry insisted that once the existing agreement expires, a new one would be negotiated with the IMF, and that the IMF will also be guaranteed that the requirements will be implemented prior to the agreement being finalised.

The founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded that an audit of the election results be conducted before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved any additional loans for Islamabad. However, the IMF showed earlier today that it was eager to cooperate with the new administration in Pakistan by disregarding the demand.

According to Bloomberg News yesterday, Pakistan is to apply for a fresh $6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to assist the next government in paying off billions of dollars in debt that comes due this year.

According to the article, the nation would attempt to negotiate an Extended Fund Facility with the IMF, and it was anticipated that discussions with the international lender would begin in March or April.

Thanks to a short-term IMF bailout, Pakistan avoided defaulting last summer. However, the plan expires next month, and the next administration will need to negotiate a long-term deal to keep the $350 billion economy steady.

The IMF forced the South Asian country to enact a number of reforms prior to the rescue, including raising its benchmark interest rate, changing its budget, and raising the cost of natural gas and electricity.

According to a fund spokeswoman, the IMF staff is still in communication with authorities on the necessary longer-term reform initiatives. The fund is also prepared to assist the post-election government in addressing Pakistan’s ongoing issues by means of a new arrangement, should that request be made.

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39% increase in IT exports in January: Dr. Umar Saif

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According to Dr. Umar Saif, the acting minister for information technology and telecommunication, IT exports increased by 39.4% to $265 million in January of this year from $190 million in the same month the previous fiscal year.

The IT sector in Pakistan is expanding and breaking records. The minister wrote on X that “IT exports in January are up by 39.4% to $265 million, compared to $190 million in the same month in 2023.”

The minister also revealed that IT exports to the United States over the first seven months of the current fiscal year (July–January) were $1.7 billion, up 13 percent from $1.5 billion in the same time previous year.

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