Pakistan Market Resumes pre-Brexit Bullish Momentum

The benchmark of Pakistan Stock Exchange PSX-100 resumed its pre-Brexit bullish momentum after Eid holidays, touching an all-time high to close at 39,188 level, up 3.7%WoW. As concerns eased slightly, the market was further supported by additional stimulus announced by Japan and stronger data from the U.S. coupled with recovery in crude oil prices, all favorable for the local bourse. Overall activity at the market improved drastically, average daily traded volume for the week increased by 35.5%WoW to 193.8 million shares.

Key news flows during the week included: 1) Privatization Commission approved offloading of the government remaining 40.25% stake in KAPCO and Expressions of Interest from prospective bidders was invited, 2) three foreign investors including Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) have expressed interest in acquiring a stake of up to 40% in the Pakistan Stock Exchange, 3) total deposits of the banking industry crossed Rs10 trillion as of Jun’16 , up 10%YoY as compared to Rs9.14 trillion at the end of last financial year, 4) GoP announced a plan to lay an oil pipeline from Gwadar to China for the export of crude and task given to state construction firm Frontier Works Organization, and 5) GoP raised over Rs236 billion through auction of PIBs with cut-off yields for 3, 5 and 10-year papers declining noticeably.

Performance leaders during the week were: HASCOL, INDU, PIOC and SNGP; while laggards included: EFOODS, ABL, KAPCO and FATIMA. Volume leaders during the week: KEL, SNGP, DCL, EFERT and TRG. Foreign participation improved significantly where net inflow during the week amounted to US$21.4 million as against net outflow of US$1.2 million in last five sessions.

The market is still likely to come under pressure due to the global developments but analysts believe it could sustain current levels over the short term. Support should come from results season commencing next week where major sectors are expected to post strong earnings performance. However, risks for a pullback will linger in the form of 1) political developments gaining prominence, 2) oil price swings likely to impact the local market, 2) another rate cut in the upcoming monetary policy proving negative for banking scrips. On the global front, upcoming US FOMC meeting and development on UK‐EU negotiations need to be tracked with implications for growing participation.

The IMF recently released its staff level report for the second last review under the IMF EFF stressing the country to continue structural reforms beyond the program’s conclusion. Commending Pakistan on its strong performance on the program so far, the report also reiterates largely positive macro outlook though risks remain in the form of weak trade dynamics, policy slippages and political noise. With only one review left, IMF has added two structural benchmarks related to energy sector namely: 1) KAPCO’s sell‐off and 2) updating plan for the resolution of circular debt. The twelfth review entailing disbursement of US$100 million is scheduled for end‐Sep’16 where successful achievement of targets would mark the conclusion of the facility ‐ the first for Pakistan. In line with our expectations, GoP will not be entering a new IMF agreement owing to stable external metrics however, GoP is expected to remain engaged in a consultative process with the IMF though without the imposition of targets.

Brexit, IMF review, oil prices, result season, geopolitics

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