Average daily trading volume at PSX plunges to 86.6 million shares

The benchmark index of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) closed at 34,190 points, up 0.9%WoW the first week of FY20 ended 5th July 2019. The nose dive in daily trading volume by almost 41%WoW to average 86.6 million shares was particularly indicative of lack of investors’ interest. With approval from the IMF executive board for the proposed US$6 billion under EFF for the next three years (accompanied by release of US$ one billion), investor sentiment see-sawed as regulatory action to curb un-registered transactions, including SECP’s recently approved Search And Seizure Rules raised apprehensions. Key news flows during the week included: 1) IMF Executive Board approved the US$6 billion three year Extended Funding Facility allowing for the release of the initial US$ one billion and monitoring of macro indicators for further release of funds, 2) planned roll-out of the new petroleum policy with concession for high risk fields and 35 additional blocks to be put up for bidding, 3) Federal Cabinet approved the Search and Seizure rules for the SECP, the apex securities regulator, granting its officers the authority to conduct raids, seize evidence and secure search warrants and 4) ADB and WB approved US$2.2 billion in financing for projects in Karachi, including mobility enhancements. Key performers included: NBP, FFC, FFBL and HBL, whereas laggard during the week were: EFOODS, HASCOL, ASTL and KEL. Volume leaders at the main board included: UNITY, LOTCHEM, TRG, and KEL. As investors deal with the erratic nature of regulatory actions, where an announced ‘crackdown’ holds the potential for drastic, knee-jerk negativity, the long term externalities are still positive, the lack of cohesion between regulatory agencies may deplete sentiment over the short term. Analysts expected another 150 bps hike in interest rate by the end of July 2019, which may bode well for Banks but certainly prove detrimental to highly leveraged companies.

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