Pakistan stock exchange remains bullish, gains 749 points in post election rally

“Locals bought in morning trade as they believe that the PTI government will not be a hung government as was expected earlier,” Mohammed Sohail, CEO of Topline Securities, told Arab News. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP)
Updated 26 July 2018
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Pakistan stock exchange remains bullish, gains 749 points in post election rally

  • Stock market welcomes PTI with bullish rally in morning trade
  • PTI’s clear majority in general election placates investors’ concerns of hung government, say analysts

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange PSX reacted positively on Thursday following clear victory of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf PTI-led by former cricketer Imran Khan in general elections.
The benchmark KSE 100 index closed 749 points or 1.8 percent higher at 42089 level.
In the morning trade the benchmark KSE 100 index opened 2 percent bullish as investors’ fears of hung government dissipated.
“Locals bought in morning trade as they believe that the PTI government will not be a hung government as was expected earlier,” Mohammed Sohail, CEO of Topline Securities, told Arab News.
The majority analysts and stock brokers were expecting the PTI to capitalize on difficulties facing the outgoing government of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) following the conviction and imprisonment of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, possibly putting the PTI in a position to form the next government.
Unofficial results show that PTI secured around 119 National Assembly seats and will be able to form a coalition government with smaller parties and independents. The markets had expected the PTI to win between 85 and 95 seats.
Incomplete unofficial results suggest that the former ruling party has been able to grab 61 seats.
“Peaceful general elections and the likelihood of strong government are the two positives that the stock market is seeing at the moment. While the market might keep on celebrating a PTI clear victory for few days, I think, in two to three months’ time, much will depend on the effectiveness of economic steps, the path (followed by the) new government to control the economic deterioration,” Zeeshan Afzal, Executive Director Research at Insight Securities told Arab News.
Analysts commented that the market is reacting positively due to PTI winning with clear majority. Ahsan Mehanti, Chief Executive of Arif Habib Group, told Arab News: “The direction of the stock market will remain positive in the coming days.” 
The next government will face tremendous pressure to steer the country out of its vulnerable economic position and persistent foreign selling.
“We believe that a clear mandate at the federal level is a material positive for domestic equities. Tough economic decisions have to be made in the near term as the incoming government negotiates a new International Monetary Fund program,” Nauman Khan, head of research at Foundation Securities, told Arab News.
“Economic reforms at the heart of the program would once again include privatization, restructuring public sector enterprises (PSEs), broadening the tax base, improving the investment climate, resolving energy issues, and reducing untargeted subsidies.
“A strong mandate was essential for the new government to carry out these reforms,” he added.
Pakistan’s stock market was declared the best-performing Asian bourse in 2016 when investors got stunning returns of 46 percent. The benchmark index was able to hit an all-time high of 52,876 by the middle of last year, before the political turmoil that turned it from the best to worst performing market.
Imran Khan, who is pitching himself as the next prime minister of Pakistan, will have his work cut out for him if he is to form a government and fix the ailing economy.
Khan’s party has promised 10 million jobs, five million houses and a robust tax regime. He will have to contend with the country's debt, the devaluation of the rupee and previous failed policies.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
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Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.