Economic uncertainty regarding Pakistan’s ability to make good on its debt payments kept the market under pressure during the week ended December 09, 2022. The benchmark index closed at 41,698 points, posting a decline of 1.07%WoW.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed the payment of US$1.08 billion of International Sukuk. This brought down foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP to US$6.7 billion on December 02, 2022.
Saudi Arabia provided a much-needed breathing space to Pakistan by announcing the rollover of US$3 billion which would help meet external sector challenges and achieve economic growth.
Participation in the market improved, though negligibly, with average traded volumes increasing to 179.7 million shares from 161.8 million shares in the earlier week.
Other major news flows during the week included: 1) ECNEC okayed RKR333.6 billion for flood-hit projects, 2) GoP announced to borrow RKR5.52 trillion domestic debt over the next three months, 3) GoP debt rose to RKR50.152 trillion, 4) revised flood damages estimates estimated at US$46 billion, 5) tractor sales anticipated to decline 67 percent, 6) auto financing dropped for the fourth consecutive month, 7) Cement dispatches Declined by 17%YoY in November 20222 and 8) Cotton arrivals plunged 40%.
Top performing sectors were: Miscellaneous, Closed end mutual funds, and Vanaspati and Allied Industries, while the least favorite sectors were: Pharmaceuticals, Jute and Leasing.
Stock-wise, top performers were: PSEL, PGLC, MUREB, ILP, and BAHL, while laggards included: GLAXO, PIOC, CHCC, PSMC, and SEARL.
Individuals were major buyers with net buy of US$8.82 million, followed by Insurance companies with net buy of US$1.26 million. As against this, foreign investors were major sellers, with a net sell of US$6.26 million. Mutual funds continued to be a seller, with a net sell of US$3.71 million.
The market is expected to remain range-bound in the near future, clouded by liquidity concerns of the country, with foreign exchange reserves held by SBP plunging to US$6.7 billion— a less than one month import cover.
Some respite may come in the form of Saudi Arabia’s expected US$4.2 billion (US$3 billion in deposits and US$1.2 billion in deferred oil facilities), alleviating the pressures off the country’s FX reserves to some extent.
Political uncertainty and any developments regarding the 9th review by the IMF would remain in the limelight.