Pakistan Stock Market Remains Lackluster

Due to political uncertainty and regulatory pressures the benchmark of Pakistan Stock Exchange index remained unexciting. The week ending 17th March 2017 closed at 48,409 points, down 1.6% WoW. Soft global oil prices, SECP’s action to curtail in-house badla financing and political uncertainty kept the market under pressure. Key news flows during the week were: 1) SBP raised Rs284 billion through short‐ term government papers, 2) in line with expectations, the US Fed raised interest rates, 3) in addition to independent power producers’ claims of over Rs414 billion, non‐payments to oil companies were reported at more than Rs300 billion, 4) Ministry of Finance approved payment of Rs6 billion on Thursday for the state owned PSO to avoid an international default, and 5) HUBC and FFC announced in separate notices the offer and receipt of an equity divestment plan relating to Thar Energy Limited. (TEL), a 330MW mine mouth coal fired project in Thar Block II. Stocks leading the bourse were: MEBL, ASTL, FATIMA, and ICI. On the other hand, laggards were: HMB, PPL, and FFBL. Volume leaders were: KEL, BOP, TRG and ASL. Subdued lobal oil prices, strengthening US$ and global trade related developments over the upcoming G‐ 20 summit may impact the domestic markets. At home, any clarity on the political front could trigger bullish sentiment, while policies and budgetary developments for the Finance Bill FY18 can be expected to sway markets.

The PRK has remained stable over the last year, weathering the worsening external account position. While current account deficit is up 90%YoY during 7MFY17 and reserve position (down US$1.75 billion from its peak) has deteriorated, PkR/US$ has remained stable at PKR104.8/US$, which is reflective of GoP’s resolve to keep exchange rate stable. Going forward, analysts see little pressure on the PRK over the short term, primarily supported by an expected recovery in forex reserve position. In this regard, analysts see support from expected inflows including: 1) up to US$1.0 billion from planned Eurobond/Sukuk issue, 2) US$550 million under CSF disbursement and 3) likely US$4.0 billion from project lending and commercial loans budgeted for the year along with room for greater accretion from CPEC related inflows. Incorporating this,

AKD Securities has recently revisited its investment case for PIOC, incorporating recent cement price increase and expected continuation of clinker sales. While rally in coal price is expected to shrink gross margins (GM) and dampen earnings, recently installed 12MW WHR is expected to partially make up for the above. In this regard, the brokerage house expects an after‐tax operational savings of PKR1.11/PKR1.82 in 2HFY17/FY18. Besides, the company revealed its plans of: 1) revising up its cement expansion capacity from 2.21 million tpa to 2.52 million tpa, 2) installing separate line of 12MW WHR for the expansion and (3) setting up 24MW coal CPP. The total capex associated with the projects is expected to be around PKR25 billion. Though, the brokerage house has not incorporated the aforementioned projects due to awaited details, it expects the expansion to result in increase in FY20‐23 average earnings. Moreover, the new line of WHR and coal CPP are together expected to result in incremental earnings.



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