Karachi Stock Exchange sustains bullish trend


KARACHI: The bullish trend continued at the bourse this week – shortened to three working days owing to religious (Ashura) holidays – as increased activity was seen in oil and gas, and banking sectors. Although, there was some tension on the political front with Jamiat Ullema-e-Islam’s breaking away from the coalition government, oil stocks rallied on the news of British Petroleum assets’ sale price.
Further, Abu Dhabi Group’s (ABG) consideration of offloading its strategic stake in United Bank Limited helped generate interest in the scrip. Overall, the market gained a weekly 166 points to close at 11,786 points, with average daily volumes dwindling to 148mn shares, down by a weekly 19 percent.
After rejecting a joint bid from Oil and Gas Development Company-Pakistan Petroleum Limited, BP accepted United Energy Goup’s offer for purchase of most of its assets for $775 million. The deal valued the assets at a premium to the current multiples, which in return heightened interest in the sector, leading the Oil and Gas sector to gain two percent on the last trading session. In addition, news of one of UBL’s sponsor shareholder, ABG, considering offloading its 30 percent stake led the scrip to advance a weekly two percent.
Remittance data continued to be among the most improved data sets, with the inflow rising by a monthly eight percent to $927 million in November, 2010 taking the fifth month Financial Year 2011 cumulative to rise by an annual 16 percent to $4.4 billion.
Foreign Investment however, was recorded at $143 million, down by an annual seven percent in November. Moreover, unofficial figures released for November showed the trade gap ballooning to $1.6bn, with imports rising faster than the exports.
Foreigners continued their buying spree, with net investment of $22.6 million in just three days. The week also saw the highest single day foreign investment since September 1, 2009- $19.5 million, including a $20.2 million transaction of Unilever Pakistan.