Army chief’s Saudi Arabia visit helps stock exchange land in green zone

The benchmark KSE-100 Index closed at 40,716.74 on Thursday with a 177.44-point, or 44 percent, gain as the news about the army chief’s visit to Saudi Arabia rekindled hopes about the much-needed assistance from the Middle East.   

Ali Nadeem – Head of Sales at National First Equity Limited (FNEL) – says it is Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir’s visit to Saudi Arabia which gave confidence and boost to the market by creating positive sentiments. His trip to Saudi Arabia is being considered a positive sign which can unlock financial assistance from the kingdom, he adds.

The announcement was made by the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) which said the army chief would visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from January 4 to 10.

It said Gen Asim Munir would meet senior leadership of the two countries and discuss matters of mutual interests, military-to-military cooperation and bilateral relations focusing on security-related subjects.

The visit came as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia and China were set to boost Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves much before the close of this month.

“Our foreign exchange reserves by end-June would be much better than you can think,” he told a press conference in Islamabad.

Dar recalled that China and Saudi Arabia, during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visits in September,  had agreed to increase their support to Pakistan, and the Saudi finance minister later confirmed this to international news agencies.

He said the process got delayed, but Saudi Arabia would increase its support much earlier than the end of this month, while the Chinese loan rollover was also being processed.

On Thursday, the total volume of the benchmark KSE-100 Index stood at 61.92 million shares, an increase of 1.21 percent from 61.17 million shares traded Wednesday.

In terms of sectors, most of the positive contributions came from commercial banks, fertilizer, oil and gas exploration as well as marketing, miscellaneous, and technology which cumulatively added 220.49 points to the index tally.

As far the volume leaders are concerned, K-Electric topped the list with 18.61 million shares followed by CNERGY 8.53 million, BankIslami 7.36 million, Sui Northern 5.7 million and Worldcall 5.43 million.

Shares of 86 companies included in the benchmark index were traded Thursday out of which 43 recorded a fall, 40 registered an increase and three remained unchanged.

Pakistan Services Limited gained the most with a 6.53 percent increase in its share price followed by Engro 2.66 percent, Pakistan Petroleum 1.80 percent, Oil and Gas Development Company 1.55 percent and International Industries 1.53 percent.

On the other hand, the shares of five worst performing companies during the day were: Atlas Honda 5.92 percent, Indus Motor 3.54 percent, K-Electric 2.87 percent, Rafhan Maize Products 2.60 percent and Honda Atlas Cars 2.59 percent.


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