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Site update: February 17 2020, at 08:00 PKST
Stock update: February 14 2020.

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Thursday, February 13 2020

Stocks march past 40,000 level
KARACHI: Stocks extended rally into the second day with the KSE-100 index recording a massive surge of 816.67 points (2.06 per cent) and closing above the 40,000-level at 40,531.13. Although the index has more than offset the declines of 847points seen on Tuesday, it has still to make up for the nearly 10pc meltdown from 43,800 that the benchmark had managed to reach in a bullish rally that began in August 2019 to 39,297 on Monday. Insight Securities CEO Zubair Ghulam Hussain affirmed that the major reason for market downside was the investors’ concern over the inflation figures for January which came at 14.6pc, higher than street expectations of 13.5-14pc. He said that going forward, the market expects a decline in inflation due to drop in oil prices. Traders said the return of optimism in the last two days could be due to reports of the International Monetary Fund agreeing to trim down the revenue collection target to Rs4.9 trillion from Rs5.2tr set earlier.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators ise kse lse misc psx stock-exchanges

Destroying livelihoods
A YEAR ago, a number of economists warned about the impending disaster which the PTI government was bringing to the country. The signs were clearly evident; the poor decision-making, ineptitude and hubris were all suggesting just how bad things were becoming and the delay in taking critical decisions was making things much worse. An economy which had seen consistently high rates of growth, with per capita income and employment rising for almost a decade, was headed towards a huge wreck. After the 2018 elections, some economists had argued that whoever won, they would need to go to the IMF almost immediately and address the balance of payments and exchange rate problems which were indicating serious trouble ahead. The 10-month delay in going to the IMF caused by the PTI government made matters far worse than they would have been had this decision been taken several months earlier.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Performance, perception deficit
The government appears trying to generate hopes about the future as it comes under criticism from all sides over the tough present economic conditions and public unrest. The response, however, appears cosmetic and restricted to promises. Amid rising inflation — the highest in almost a decade — led by the food sector, particularly wheat and sugar, the policy response has been too little too late. The government enumerates a long list of measures to address the challenge and minimise the sufferings of the people but outcomes at the end of the day appear minimal. The prime minister, meanwhile, is attributing these challenges to mafias and conspiracies to forestall the positive change he wants to bring to the country. Opponents, on the other hand, point fingers towards his close circles for the profiteering and the mess. In both cases, it boils down to a governance problem whether ‘mafia’ plays the havoc or ‘friends’ drive away with plunder — it proves an administrative failure.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Yield for 12-month paper up 39bps
KARACHI: The government raised Rs274 billion on Wednesday through auctions of treasury bills that saw an increase of 39 basis points in the 12-month papers. The total amount borrowed was lower than the target of Rs300bn set by the government, while Rs197bn was set to mature. While the total bids were as high as Rs1.061 trillion, bulk of the amount was offered for the shortest tenor. The government raised Rs142.6bn for the three-month papers out of Rs778.7bn bids with the cut-off yield unchanged at 13.42 per cent. Govt raises Rs274bn through T-bill auction Another Rs1.7bn were raised against bids of Rs129.9bn for the six-month T-bills, again the cut-off yield static at 13.29pc.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Local brands have great potential, says President Arif Alvi
SIALKOT: Exporters must focus on developing and promoting sports goods and surgical instruments as local brands and products have great potential of capturing untapped international trade markets, President Dr Arif Alvi said on Wednesday. Addressing an important meeting of local exporters held at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the president stressed that the government has already focused on the ease of doing business in the country. The government will continue its agenda of economic development and stability by taking the business community into confidence, he said. Calling Sialkot exporters the ‘backbone of the national economy’, he noted that they have been playing a pivotal role in strengthening the economy by earning precious foreign exchange to the tune of $2 billion annually.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)