KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange Monday opened bullish and crossed the psychological barrier of 48,000 as the benchmark 100-index added 323.57 points to reach 48130.54 points level in early trading of first day of year 2017.
Last year, the PSX rallied 45.6 percent to become the Asia’s best performing market. The multiyear growth trajectory received boost after the MSCI announcement to reclassify Pakistan to Emerging Markets, resulting in KSE100 index outperforming its peers in Frontier Markets and most of the countries in Emerging Markets. According to Bloomberg, Pakistan market posted 5th highest return in the world.
Foreign investors continued to offload equities during 2016 (net selling $340m) as most of the EM and FM funds kept facing redemptions. Despite all the gains, 2017 looks very favourable for the Pakistan equities as the MSCI reclassification has added cherry to the already built investment theme; based upon political stability, macroeconomic strength, better security situation and Chinese investments.
Automobiles and Cement remained top performing sectors in 2016 posting market cap gains of 73 percent and 66 percent, respectively. Amongst top 30 stocks in terms of market capitalisation, Pakistan Oil Fields (POL), Searle Company (SEARL) and Mari Petroleum (MARI) remained top performers posting gains of 112 percent, 106 percent, and 98 percent respectively in 2016.
Average volumes at the local bourse increased by 14 percent to 281 million, whereas average value was up only 2 percent to Rs11.6 billion ($111m) in 2016. In the derivative market, traded value in single stock futures stood flat and remained at Rs3.0 billion/ $29 million a day in 2016 as against Rs3.1 billion/$30 million in 2015.
In another landmark development, 40 percent strategic stake in Pakistan Stock Exchange was sold to Chinese Consortium valuing the exchange at $215 million.