The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) recovered on Thursday after two days of losses, rising more than 1,000 points during the day’s trade. From the previous session close at 64,048.44, the KSE-100 index increased by 1015.82 points, or 1.59%, to reach 65,064.26 at mid-afternoon.

This improvement was spurred by the Finance Minister, Aurangzeb Khan’s positive comments on economic management and attracting investment, which emphasised cutting back on government spending and moving towards investment in order to get support from foreign partners—not aid.

Aurangzeb Khan became the third banker to assume the position of Minister for Finance after Shaukat Aziz (1999-2007) and Shaukat Tarin (2021-2022).

Market sentiment has improved due to his confidence in successfully wrapping up the IMF programme and obtaining a vital $1.1 billion tranche. Additionally, the expectation of easing monetary policy and meeting all necessary standards for the upcoming tranche of the IMF have both had a favourable impact on investor sentiment. Moreover, the IMF delegation is set to arrive in Pakistan today on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

However, trading volumes were muted, reflecting investor caution and the shortened trading hours due to Ramadan.

 

PSX CLOSING SUMMARY

 

ParameterValue
Closing Price65,064.26
Change1,015.82 (1.59%)
As ofMar 14, 2024 2:15 PM
High65,205.81
Low64,079.97
Volume136,554,522
1-Year Change55.59%
YTD Change0.62%
Previous Close64,048.44
Day Range64,079.97 — 65,205.81
52-Week Range39,482.17 — 67,093.96

WHO IS AURANGZEB KHAN?

Aurangzeb, an experienced banker and a political nobody with a tenure at Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Pakistan’s leading commercial bank, has been chosen to lead the country’s $350bn economy, surpassing other candidates including the seasoned finance minister Ishaq Dar. With credentials from the Wharton School and experience at Citibank and JP Morgan, Aurangzeb steps into the role with a robust background. Giving up his Dutch nationality to meet eligibility requirements, he has a six-month window to join parliament to maintain his position as a federal minister.

This is not the first instance of a banker steering Pakistan’s financial ministry; Shaukat Aziz and Shaukat Tarin have previously held the role under different administrations. Aurangzeb’s appointment by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the PMLN government, formed after controversial elections, is pivotal as Pakistan navigates severe economic hurdles. His immediate challenge involves negotiating a new IMF loan to manage over $130 billion in external debts and a pressing repayment schedule, amidst dwindling foreign currency reserves that cover barely eight weeks of imports.

SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS

The surge in the KSE-100 Index was notably supported by contributions from several key sectors:

  • Oil & Gas Exploration Companies led the charge with a substantial 261.00 points.
  • Technology & Communication sectors followed with a notable 93.04 points.
  • Cement, Oil & Gas Marketing Companies, and Refinery sectors also made significant contributions, adding 84.54, 75.37, and 71.72 points respectively.

Conversely, a few sectors experienced setbacks, with Insurance, Modarabas, and Textile Spinning sectors slightly dipping into the red zone.

KSE100 MARKET SUMMARY SECTORS 2024-03-14 at 3.32.34 PM

TOP PERFORMERS AND LAGGARDS

Leading the index’s gain were powerhouse companies such as OGDC, PPL, MARI, MEBL, and PSO, collectively contributing hundreds of points to the index. On the flip side, BAHL, UBL, MCB, PIOC, and ABOT were among the companies that weighed down the index’s overall performance.

KSE100 MARKET SUMMARY COMPANIES 2024-03-14 at 3.32.12 PM

BROAD MARKET OVERVIEW

The broader market, as reflected by the All-Share Index, also closed on a positive note with a net gain of 703.16 points, settling at 43,262.92. The total market volume saw a significant increase, jumping to 315.248 million shares from the previous session’s 252.752 million, while the traded value rose by Rs1.23 billion to Rs10.49 billion. The day ended with 129,982 trades across 333 companies, where 247 companies closed up, 70 closed down, and 16 remained unchanged.

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