After recording gains for three successive weeks, the benchmark of Pakistan Stock exchange took a breather with the index closing almost flat at 41,282 points during the week ended 21st October 2016. The correction was led by the continued rise in political tensions and foreign outflows (US$8.46 million as against an inflow of US$2.2 million during the earlier week).
Average daily trading volume rose by 16.8%WoW to 471.9 million shares, led by retail favorites: BOP, TRG, PACE and JPGL. Scrips leading the market were: EPCL, APL, SNGP, HASCOL and NML. The laggards included: ASTL, CHCC, LUCK, MLCF and DAWH.
News flows for the week included: 1) Current account deficit for September 2016 recorded at US$161 million as compared to US$612 million in July 2016 taking 1QFY17 cumulative deficit to US$1.36 billion, up 136%YoY, 2) all PIB bids were rejected in the latest auction amid weak participation as banks bid at higher yields, 3) expected approval of relief package worth Rs200 billion for exporters, particularly belonging to textile sector, 4) Atlas Honda Limited (AHL) announced expansion with a second production line at its Sheikhupura plant to double assembly capacity to 1.2 million units per annum and 5) MLCF planning to set up a 40MW coal‐fired power plant to fuel its cement manufacturing operations. The company will generate funds worth Rs5.5 billion for the project from its own resources.
Market performance is likely to be dominated by earnings announcement from major sectors next week, including Banks (MCB, NBP, BAFL), Cement (MLCF, PIOC, LUCK, DGKC, FCCL), Fertilizer (FFBL, EFERT, FFC, ENGRO) and Autos (PSMC, INDU). Additionally, the announcement of the anticipated textile package is likely to prop up performance in the sector. However, planned protests by PTI may escalate political noise and keep the market volatile. On the macro front, key events of interest include planned visit by Managing Director of International Monetary Fund and President of Asian Development Bank to the country next week.
IMF recently released its staff level review report on Pakistan at the conclusion of the last review under the 3-year EFF program. Commending GoP on sustained progress on targets, the report highlights significant improvements achieved on the economic front over program’s duration. The Fund has shown optimism on the country sustaining recent gains supported by external factors, improving credit outlook and growth initiatives under CPEC. However, this remains underpinned on continued efforts to enhance fiscal management, control debt accumulation and develop business competitiveness. Going forward, analysts expect GoP to revert to populist measures as general elections draw near with further delays in privatization program and fiscal expansion likely outcomes. Moreover, deterioration in external metrics remains a key risk going forward amid a widening current count deficit and debt‐dependent foreign exchange reserve accumulation.