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Friday Apr 21, 2017
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PSX sees robust trading after putting Panama worries behind

KARACHI: Investors engaged in heavy trading on Friday during market hours, especially on the back of clarity following the Supreme Court’s Panama Leaks case ruling on Thursday.

The KSE-100 Index gained 1.98% (965 points) to close at 49,743 points. Now that the fears of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif being disqualified have abated, the stock market has turned bullish. More than 159 million shares swapped hands today in transactions worth approximately Rs. 18.2 billion.

In addition, buying of mutual funds, which had paused earlier, resumed in the wake of the Panama decision as well. Active trading in this category led to the generation of new deposits.

In what was probably one of the most-anticipated verdicts in Pakistan's history, the Supreme Court yesterday ordered further investigations into the corruption allegations made against the PM by the opposition and added that there was insufficient evidence to order his removal from office.

The Supreme Court also required a Joint Investigation team (JIT) to be formed to carry out this investigation.

In this regard, Topline Securities market analyst Muhammad Sohail said that yesterday’s ruling has bumped up the market’s confidence. “The concerns have vanished now,” he added.

Despite today being the week's last business day, trading continues without any fears. "A positive impact is quite likely after [the ruling] yesterday," explained Muzammil Aslam, CEO of Invest & Finance Securities Limited. 

Coupled with Pakistan officially regaining its MSCI Emerging Markets status in May 2017, Aslam added the Panama case verdict has made investors hopeful for the future. "The market is looking beyond those concerns now," he stated.

Fears pertaining to the Panama case had kept the investors cautious since some days now. The business community, therefore, welcomed the decision and various prominent names of the nation’s economy issued their comments on it.

Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zubair Tufail expressed his belief that economic stability is now ensured by the current fiscal year end since the new budget (2017/2018) is slated to be announced next month.

On the other hand, Siraj Kassam Teli – Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and former president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) – highlighted that the ruling would result in political instability. Prominent industrialist and BMG VC Zubair Motiwala also echoed similar views, noting that the uncertainty is expected to return two months later.

The KSE-100 Index closed up 2.39% (1,140 points) at 48,787 points on Thursday, slightly normalising after a peak addition of almost 1,900 points right after the Panama case verdict was announced.

Against yesterday’s low, the benchmark index gained almost 1,600 points overall on Thursday, marking the longest stretch in a day.

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