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Site update: October 21 2019, at 08:00 PKST
Stock update: October 18 2019.

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Friday, October 18 2019

Market watch: KSE-100 drops 383 points on political uncertainty
KARACHI: Following a day’s respite, bears returned to the bourse on Thursday as the KSE-100 index shed 383 points because of weak political cues. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to announce its decision on Friday on whether Pakistan will remain on the grey list or not. After a brief open in the positive, the KSE-100 index started falling and the trend continued for the rest of the day. Timely rises were noted but weak investor sentiment restrained the market from making hefty gains.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators ise kse lse misc psx stock-exchanges

Pakistan's debt to rise to over 78% of GDP: IMF
ISLAMABAD: A new report, issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday, has said Pakistan’s public debt may surge this year to 78.6% of the total size of its economy, which is not only higher than the previous year but also in violation of an act of the parliament. The Global Financial Stability Report further said the budget deficit -gap between expenditures and revenues, would remain at 7.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is also slightly higher than the official target set by the Ministry of Finance. The higher budget deficit and public debt projections would mean that over 60% of the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) taxes would be consumed in servicing the debt, which grew at an alarming rate in the last fiscal year 2018-19.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Pakistan’s mobile ecosystem contributes $16.7b to GDP
KARACHI: The mobile ecosystem in Pakistan is playing an increasingly important role, which is evident from its contribution to economic growth. The telecom system contributes around $16.7 billion, 5.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), to the economy, according to a research report launched by the GSMA, an international trade body of mobile network operators. The report, titled “The power of mobile to accelerate digital transformation in Pakistan”, stated that the country was deriving socioeconomic benefits from digital transformation, however, its rapid population growth could increase pressure on the existing infrastructure. This may, in turn, hinder efforts to increase social development. GSMA suggested the use of mobile platforms for national development plans to incorporate devices for improving gender equality, health, education and reducing poverty.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc tech-comm

SECP taking initiatives to facilitate start-ups
ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is taking various initiatives to create an enabling regulatory framework for facilitating start-ups in Pakistan, said SECP Commissioner for Information System and Technology Shauzab Ali. Addressing a consultative session aimed at discussing options for a coherent industrial policy for start-ups on Thursday, he said that these measures would attract local and international innovators. “The SECP will amend the Companies Act with an objective to facilitate start-ups and provide an environment conducive to young innovative entrepreneurs,” he said.
Related news categories: business misc

FDI soars to 26-month high at $385.3m in Sept
KARACHI: Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan ballooned to a 26-month high at $385.3 million in September as a Norway-based mobile phone service providing firm partially paid its licence renewal fee to the government of Pakistan. With that inflow, the FDI in first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year improved to $542.1 million, just 3% less than the $559.4 million received in the same quarter of previous year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Thursday. If the $224.6 million paid by Telenor Pakistan as licence renewal fee from its head office in Norway is removed, the FDI inflow will remain sluggish due to economic slowdown in Pakistan.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)