The stock market opened the week in green owing to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s announcement last week that Pakistan had secured about $13 billion in additional financial support from China and Saudi Arabia.
The benchmark KSE-100 index gained 317.68 points, or 0.76 percent, to reach 42,173.99 points at 10:04 am.
The stock market increased in response to expected support from China and Saudi Arabia, which would improve the country’s balance of payments position, according to Raza Jafri, head of equities at Intermarket Securities. However, the gains were restrained because political developments loomed large in the background.
He was referring to the PTI’s long march to Islamabad, which will begin on Tuesday (tomorrow) after being suspended last week after Imran Khan’s attempted assassination.
Salman Naqvi, the head of research at Aba Ali Habib Securities, agreed with Jafri’s assessment and said that in addition to China and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan also received “good support” from nations like Qatar.
“This is good news and Ishaq Dar says the dollar will come below Rs200 soon. The last two days have gone by without problems so the tension on the political front has been reduced. This is the reason the market is performing well,” he commented.
Meanwhile, First National Equities Limited Director Amir Shehzad said the political temperature that had increased after Thursday’s attack on Imran had “cooled down a bit”. Consequently, investors regained confidence.
“Hopefully, things will remain in control in the future, and the market should perform better from here on,” he added.
Later that day, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to Beijing, the Chinese leadership promised to roll over $4bn in sovereign loans, refinance $3.3bn commercial bank loans and increase currency swap by about $1.45bn — from 30bn yuan to 40bn yuan. The total worked out at $8.75bn.
“They promised the security of financial support,” Dar said and quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as telling Shehbaz, “don’t worry, we will not let you down.”
Responding to a question, he said Saudi Arabia had also “given a positive response” to Pakistan’s request for increasing its financing by another $3bn to $6bn and doubling its deferred oil facility of $1.2bn.