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Lacklustre week drags PSX downward



  • Investors remained on the sidelines in outgoing week.
  • Moody’s decision, rupee-dollar party played on investors’ minds.
  • KSE-100 index declined 137 points or 0.3%.

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnessed tepid trading in the outgoing week as Moody’s rating kept market participants mostly on the sidelines.

Moody’s decision, fluctuating rupee-dollar parity, and dwindling foreign exchange reserves played on investors’ minds during the week. Resultantly, the KSE-100 index declined 137 points or 0.3% to end the week at 41,948.50 points.

The market commenced the week on a positive note as investors’ interest revived on optimism that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would maintain a status quo in its monetary policy announcement.

Investors’ interest was also fuelled by a statement from Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that Pakistan would not seek debt restructuring from the Paris Club and would meet all multi-lateral and international payment obligations.

The stock market, however, reversed the trend on Tuesday as investors opted for profit-booking owing to political and economic uncertainty.

Lacklustre week drags PSX downward

The market extended losses as selling pressure continued to dominate as investors remained concerned over Moody’s downgrading five of Pakistan’s major banks. Investors took a cautious stance and resorted to value buying which led to some recovery during Wednesday’s session.

The bourse bounced back on Thursday and cushioned the dip amid renewed interest in selected stocks of the technology sector.

The index reversed its direction once again on the last trading session as a lack of positive triggers kept market players away from healthy participation, providing bears with an opportunity to dominate most of the trading session.

Other major developments during the week were: PSO wins arbitration case against Gunvor over LNG payments, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 2,434 new firms in September, gas condensate discovered in Sanghar, inflation rate at 19.9%, IMF projected 3.5% growth for 2023.

Meanwhile, foreign buying continued this week, clocking in at $12.3 million against a net buy of $4.7 million recorded last week. Buying was witnessed in technology ($12.4 million), power (0.8 million), and cement ($0.3 million).

On the domestic front, major selling was reported by broker proprietary trading ($4.8 million), followed by companies’ finance institutions ($4 million).

During the week under review, average volumes clocked in at 267 million shares (down by 39% week-on-week), while the average value traded settled at $44 million (down by 7% week-on-week).

Major gainers and losers of the week

Sector-wise negative contributions came from technology and communication (-117 points), commercial banks (-48 points), tobacco (-32 points), cement (-15 points), and engineering (-12 points)

On the flip side, positive contributions came from exploration and production (+46 points) and refinery (+22 points)

Scrip-wise major losers were TRG Pakistan (-207 points), Pakistan Tobacco Company (-32 points), Meezan Bank (-24 points), Engro Fertiliser (-19 points), and Engro Corporation (-18 points).

Meanwhile, gainers were Systems Limited (+83 points), Pakistan Oilfields (+20 points), Lotte Chemical (+17 points), Oil and Gas Development Company (+16 points), and Nestle Pakistan (+15 points).

Outlook for next week

A report from Arif Habib Limited stated that the market is expected to remain positive in the upcoming week,” given the anticipation of FATF decision over the expected exit of Pakistan from the grey list.”

“Moreover, with the ongoing result season, certain sectors and scrips are expected to stay under the limelight given the anticipation of robust results,” it said.

“The KSE-100 is currently trading at a PER of 4.1x (2023) compared to the Asia-Pacific regional average of 12x while offering a dividend yield of 9.8% versus 3% offered by the region,” the brokerage house stated.


Pak Suzuki plans to export cars




  • Company working on hybrid variants, says CEO. 
  • Hiroshi Kawamura calls local participants for joint efforts.
  • Notable part manufacturers attend meeting. 

LAHORE: Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (PSMCL) chief executive Hiroshi Kawamura has said that the company has been working on exports of cars which have been upgraded to many WP-29 standards, The News reported Friday. 

Addressing the second round of interactive meetings with the part-makers — held under the banner of Suzuki Motors — Kawamura said that the economic issues were transitory and the automobile company was committed to providing affordable vehicles to common Pakistanis.

The CEO also revealed that the company was working on hybrid variants.

Participants of the meeting, which was attended by notable part manufacturers, unanimously agreed that the automakers should promote localisation, while also reaching out to global markets.

Calling the local participants for joint efforts, Kawamura said: “It is imperative to take stock of the escalating crisis collectively for the automotive industry.” 

“Nothing can be achieved without local partners.”

Addressing the meeting, Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) Senior Vice Chairman Usman Aslam Malik assured of complete support to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the export of auto components.

It should be noted that WP-29 standards are a unique worldwide regulatory forum within the institutional framework of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee.

Three UN Agreements, adopted in 1958, 1997 and 1998, provide the legal framework allowing contracting parties (member countries) attending the WP.29 sessions to establish regulatory instruments concerning motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment.

Those are UN Regulations, annexed to the 1958 Agreement; United Nations Global Technical Regulations (UN GTRs), associated with the 1998 Agreement; and UN Rules, annexed to the 1997 Agreement.

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Govt plans austerity measures by slashing Rs1.9tr expenditures




  • Govt decides reducing operational spending on devolved ministries.
  • Recommends ban on new posts, hiring daily wages/other staff, etc. 
  • Considers implementing cost-sharing mechanism of BISP with provinces. 

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government is planning to take austerity measures by cutting down expenditures by Rs1.9 trillion including banning new posts, purchasing security vehicles, and slashing down allocation for development, The News reported Friday. 

The government has also considered making a treasury single account (TSA) and asking the federal ministries and attached departments to shift the money into the federal government account to save up to Rs424 billion.

It has been calculated that 10% of the expenditures incurred on running the federal government in FY22 could save Rs54 billion as worked out by the World Bank. 

The government has also decided to reduce the operational spending on devolved ministries to save up to Rs328 billion for the whole financial year 2023-24. 

In the aftermath of the 18th Amendment, different subjects were transferred to the provinces but the centre continued spending, causing losses to the national exchequer.

A detailed working of the government considered by the high-profile Cabinet Committee on Economic Revival (CCER) so far proposed certain austerity measures to cut down the expenditures by up to Rs1.9 trillion on a short-term basis. 

However, it is yet to be seen if these measures will be implemented in letter and spirit. 

It recommended that the federal and provincial governments both take austerity measures to reduce the expenditures by Rs54 billion for six months such as slapping a ban on new posts, hiring of daily wages/other staff, ban on purchasing new vehicles including from project funding, ban on purchase of machinery and equipment except medical, ban on travel abroad including official visits, medical treatment, cabinet members to forego pay and government vehicles and security vehicles to be withdrawn.

The ambitious plan also envisages that the triage of 14 loss-making entities will potentially save Rs458 billion for the whole financial year. The reduced operational spending on devolved ministries is going to save up to Rs328 billion during the current financial year.

The Ministry of Finance has estimated that the devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to the provinces would save Rs70 billion per annum. Education had become a provincial subject in the aftermath of the 18th Amendment but the Center recontinued with the HEC at the federal level. 

The caretaker regime has placed it as an agenda to devolve the HEC to the provinces so it is yet to see how much they are going to succeed on this front. 

Moreover, it is also considering implementing the cost-sharing mechanism of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) with the provinces to save Rs217 billion on an annual basis.

The federal government is also considering re-focusing the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) spending only on federally mandated projects which could save Rs315 billion annually. 

Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar had already directed the minister for planning to work out details of projects of a provincial nature for their removal from the list of PSDP to cut down the expenditures by Rs315 billion for the current fiscal year. 

The last Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led regime had allocated Rs950 billion for the PSDP in budget 2023-24.

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PKR on track to become top-performing currency this month: Bloomberg




  • Pakistani currency rose around 6% this month against dollar.
  • Authorities curb leakages happening through illegal channels. 
  • Crackdown on illegal dollar traders helps local currency. 

The Pakistani rupee is on track to become the top performer globally in September as the caretaker government continues its crackdown on illegal dollar trade, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The local currency rose around 6% this month against the dollar — an amazing feat despite the Thai baht and South Korean won tumbling against the greenback.

Major currencies lost ground against the dollar on speculations that the US interest rates will stay elevated for longer.

The rupee increased 0.1% to 287.95 per dollar on Thursday, after sliding to a record low of about 307 this month. Pakistan’s currency market will remain closed for the Eid Miladun Nabi holiday on Friday.

“Many leakages were happening through illegal channels of hawala and hundi trade from the open market,” Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer of Alpha Beta Core Solutions Pvt Ltd, told Bloomberg.

“When the dollar rate reverses everybody, the hoarders, the exporters who are holding their export proceeds, start selling their dollars,” Schehzad said.

The interim rulers have intensified efforts by launching a crackdown on people involved in the illegal dollar trade, allowing the currency to gain some lost ground.

The Federal Investigation Agency, Bloomberg reported, conducted raids across the country and security officials in plainclothes were deployed at money exchanges to monitor dollar sales as part of the crackdown.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar this week said the rupee’s gain is “fostering optimism for stability.”

For its part, the State Bank of Pakistan raised the capital requirements of smaller exchange companies and ordered large banks to open their own exchange companies to make the retail foreign exchange market more transparent and easier to monitor.

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