Saturday, January 3, 2009

Life returns to the capital market

Life returned to Karachi Stock Exchange and things took a bright look after suffering gloomy atmosphere at least for last six months.

The market saw shapes of green after being gripped of bearish sentiments after the removal of the cap from KSE-100 which gained 40.39points to close at 5,793.57points level while turnover surged by 179% from yesterday to 210.8m shares. In the overall market, bulls were finally able to thrash the bears by 166 to 71 from overall 241 scrips traded today.

In fact the driving force behind igniting spark in the market was the injection of Rs20 billion State Enterprise Fund as the National Bank of Pakistan, Employees Old age Benefits Institution (EOBI), State Life of Pakistan and a banking consortium transferred Rs5 billion each to the Fund being managed by National Investment Trust.

Resultantly, fresh life in the market was quite visible from the beaming faced of the depressed brokers and investors who suffered heavily due to financial turmoil and suspension of the trade at KSE at least for three months.

It looks that the major issues concerning the market are about to be addressed within a couple of days to bring a spark in the market following activation of Rs20 billion fund sparked new hope in the investors.

It may be noted that several brokerage houses and agencies either compelled to suspend their business operations and thousands of people attached to the stock market were rendered jobless as a result of the financial turmoil which consequently forced the regulators to suspend business operations at Karachi Stock Exchange for more than three months from October to recently ended December 2008.

Many people earning their bread and butter from stock exchange had to switch over to other professions and most of them have to sell their assets including houses, cars and other valuables to make up the losses incurred in the wake of financial melt down at the capital market.

The uncalled for suspension of business at the capital market due to fear of a thud fall sent a bad message of the economy abroad and provided an opportunity to the credit rating agencies to for downgrading of the sovereign rating of the country. However, the fear of heavy correction proved true which is reflected in the drop of the index to the level of 5,753 from over 15000 point level when the financial crisis hit the economy.

Meanwhile NIT is quite ready to launch the Rs.20 billion NIT-State Enterprise Fund without losing any time as NIT has completed all necessary legal work which includes signing of the agreement with the financing institutions and the approval of Guarantees of the government of Pakistan.

The legal work which entailed a lot details and paper work including the registration, approval of the Fund, Financing Agreements, Guarantees etc all have been accomplished.

The fund can only invest in 8 eligible stocks which are identified as OGDC, PSO, PPL, SNGPL, SSGC, KAPCO, and NBP AND PTCL.

According to NIT, the Fund is intended to sell units to the non-resident Pakistanis after the initial operation and after the market stabilization. The stocks mainly related to strong state owned organizations would perform well and provide necessary security to the financers of the fund and send strong signals to the market which is overly depressed at present. Returning to day’s business, the investors took fresh positions in major blue chips items like OGDC, PTCL, UBL, DGKC and NBP which also were the volume leaders today.

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