Pakistan’s stocks end at record high - GulfToday

Pakistan’s stocks end at record high

Stock brokers monitor share market prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, in Karachi, Pakistan. Reuters

Stock brokers monitor share market prices at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, in Karachi, Pakistan. Reuters

Pakistan’s benchmark share index ended at an all-time high on Wednesday, up 1.3%, data from the Pakistan Stock Exchange Website showed.

The index is extending a rally that followed a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund signed in March which, if cleared by the global lender’s board, will release about $1.1 billion to the struggling South Asian nation.

On March 28 the benchmark KSE-100 touched a record high of 67,246.02 points in intraday trade, before settling at 67,142.12 - a record close.

On Wednesday it beat both levels to close the session at 67,756.03 points, up 1.3%, according to the website.

Both the IMF and Pakistan have spoken about negotiating a longer-term bailout and continuing with necessary policy reforms to rein in deficits, build reserves and manage soaring debt servicing.

Pakistan’s new government, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has also resolved to follow through with a long-delayed process to privatise loss-making state-owned enterprises that have drained critical funds from the cash-strapped government.

On Tuesday, the government in a newspaper advertisement set a deadline of May 3 for statements of interest in national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines, which has piled up arrears of hundreds of billions of rupees.

Pakistan is implementing an ambitious, credible and clearly communicated economic reform plan critical for robust recovery and poverty reduction, the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted the World Bank as saying on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow by only 1.8 per cent in the current fiscal year ending June 2024. According to the World Bank’s latest Pakistan Development Update titled Fiscal Impact of Federal State-Owned Enterprises, this subdued recovery reflects tight monetary and fiscal policy, continued import management measures aimed at preserving scarce foreign reserves, and muted economic activity amid weak confidence.

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