KARACHI: After a 0.81% fall on Tuesday, the benchmark index was able to register a healthy increase with the banking sector remaining in the limelight.
At close on Wednesday, the benchmark Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100-share index stood at 33,490.64, registering a rise of 1.38% or 454.87 points.
JS Global analyst Umair Hasan said the banking sector, on the back of strong profitability through better margins, witnessed an overall positive run with Askari Bank Limited ending at its ‘upper circuit’.
“This was right after their earning per share announcement of Rs1, while United Bank Limited ended 3.2% higher.
Equity investment of $75 million by the International Finance Corporation – an affiliate of the World Bank – in HBL helped the bank end on the upper lock.
He also stated that cement stocks rallied with FCCL, DGKC, LUCK, MLCF all ending 4.4%, 2.3%, 2.5% and 3.0% higher, respectively.
“In the oil and gas sector, Hascol hit the upper circuit after the company announced taking over 20 retail outlets along the Islamabad-Lahore motorway – previously owned by another OMC.
“Rumours of BYCO announcing its profits in the upcoming board meeting helped the stock post strong gains,” he said.
The analyst predicts the market to remain bullish with preference to cement stocks.
Trade volumes fell to 229 million shares compared to 251 million on Tuesday.
Shares of 349 companies were traded on Wednesday. Of these, 226 companies closed higher, 100 saw a decline and 23 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs13.7 billion.
KASB Bank Limited was the volume leader with 27.8 million shares, gaining Rs0.93 to close at Rs2.68. It was followed by Pak Elektron with 27.7 million shares, gaining Rs3.02 to close at Rs63.74 and Byco Petroleum with 27.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.77 to close at Rs12.27.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of Rs206 million worth of shares during the session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.