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Sunday, June 23, 2024  
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Pakistan benchmark share index hits record high

KSE-100 index climbed 956.44 points to reach 76,070.91 levels
Screengrab via PSX website
Screengrab via PSX website

Shares at the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark index scaled a record high and breached the key 76,000 level on Friday in the intraday trade as the International Monetary Fund and Pakistan make “significant progress” towards reaching a staff-level agreement for an extended fund facility.

According to the PSX website, the KSE-100 index climbed 956.44 points to reach 76,070.91 levels, appreciating by 1.27% against the previous closing of 75,114.47 levels before the market activity was suspended.

Earlier in the day, a statement from the IMF said that the authorities’ reform program “aims to move Pakistan from economic stabilisation to strong, inclusive, and resilient” growth.

“The mission and the authorities will continue policy discussions virtually over the coming days aiming to finalise discussions, including the financial support needed to underpin the authorities’ reform efforts from the IMF and Pakistan’s bilateral and multilateral partners,” IMF mission chief Nathan Porter said.

Adnan Sheikh, assistant vice president, research at Pak Kuwait Investment Company, attributed the rise to the IMF’s comment and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) promising investment.

“Despite the 90% run-up in dollar terms over the past year, The KSE 100 is trading at price-earnings ratio 4x, which is well below its average,” said Sheikh, adding that the ratio suggested that Pakistani equities might still have healthy room for further upside.

The total liquid foreign reserves of Pakistan increased to $14,585.4 million while those held by the State Bank of Pakistan further inched up to reach $9,157 million in the week ended on May 17.

The SBP, in a press release on Thursday, said that the foreign reserves held by it increased by $22 million to $9,157.0 million while the net foreign reserves held by the commercial banks were recorded at $5,428.4 million during the week under review.

The total liquid foreign reserves of the country, in the previous week ended on May 10, were $14,626.4 million, including $9,135.5 million held by the SBP and $5,490.9 million by commercial banks.

On Thursday, the UAE committed $10 billion to invest in promising economic sectors in Pakistan, without specifying the areas. The announcement came during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s UAE visit.

Pakistan is likely to seek at least $6 billion under the new programme and request additional financing from the IMF under the Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

(With input from Reuters)

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