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Site update: February 22 2019, at 18:15 PKST
Stock update: February 22 2019.

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Thursday, February 21 2019

PSX asked to maximise stock investors
KARACHI: Seasoned businessman Hussain Dawood has said that the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has to play a greater role in building the nation and domestic economy through maximising the number of investors in the market. To achieve the objective, he underscored the need for building a meaningful public-private partnership where the government should frame favourable policies and the private sector would help implement them for the greater benefit of the entire nation. “The stock exchange is not for making money, it is for creating money,” he remarked. Dawood, Board Chairman of Dawood Hercules Corporation and Engro Corporation, was speaking at the PSX after ringing the trading session’s opening bell on Wednesday.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators ise kse lse misc psx stock-exchanges

Market watch: Five-day losing streak ends on strong corporate earnings
KARACHI: A five-day losing streak finally came to an end at the stock market on Wednesday as the benchmark index advanced on the back of strong corporate earnings and crossed the 40,200-point mark. Although the KSE-100 index opened on a negative note due to ongoing tensions with India, the tide changed in the wake of impressive results in the banking sector. Investors rushed to accumulate selected stocks, which pushed the index’s march to the north. At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 322.31 points, or 0.81%, to settle at 40,279.38. Elixir Securities’ analyst Muhammad Arbash said the stock market kicked off trading sideways and continued to fall in line with the previous day’s declining trend, hitting an intra-day low of 269 points. However, it picked up momentum on the back of gains in financial stocks.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators ise kse lse misc psx stock-exchanges

Engro profit surges 45% to Rs23.6 billion
KARACHI: Engro Corporation posted profit of Rs23.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018, up 45.1%, compared with Rs16.3 billion for the same period last year. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of Rs24.26 in the year 2018 against Rs17.96 in 2017. Despite posting a relatively higher growth, the company’s profit fell significantly short of the industry’s expectations due to inflated operating expenditure, said Topline Securities analyst Shankar Talreja. The company also announced a final cash dividend of Rs2 per share for the year, which is in addition to the interim dividend of Rs19 per share that it has already paid.
Related news categories: business chemical company-news economic-indicators fertilizers misc psx stock-exchanges
Related symbols: engro (news stock)

Mari Petroleum to invest $45m in new exploration blocks
KARACHI: Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), an oil and gas exploration firm, has acquired two new blocks in Sindh and tribal areas with combined minimum financial commitment of $45.17 million. “The government of Pakistan had invited bids for 10 exploration blocks for the grant of exploration rights. The company submitted bids for two blocks, ie Wali West block, located mainly in tribal areas, and Taung block, located in Sindh, based on their potential with combined minimum financial commitment of $45.17 million,” the company said in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). MPCL’s share price increased 2.16%, or Rs27.48, and closed at Rs1,301.75 with trading in 17,000 shares at the PSX on Wednesday. “MPCL board of directors, in its meeting held today (Wednesday), has approved the acquisition of two new blocks, which have been provisionally awarded to the company, for being the highest bidder, in the latest bidding round arranged by the government,” it said. MPCL will have 100% working interest as operator in the Wali West block and 60% interest in the Taung block. “The acquisition is subject to execution of Petroleum Exploration Licences/Petroleum Concession and Joint Operating Agreements in respect of both the blocks and completion of related legal formalities,” it said. “The acquisition of blocks was in accordance with the company’s exploration business plan aimed at adding new reserves to the company’s hydrocarbon reserve balance.”
Related news categories: business company-news economic-indicators misc oilgas-exploration oilgas-marketing psx stock-exchanges
Related symbols: mari (news stock)

‘Private sector has large role to play in economy’
LAHORE: Inefficiencies and the government’s size were points of concern, said Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, adding that the private sector had a larger role to play. Speaking at the Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2019, organised by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, he said, “We feel the private sector has a large role to play and the government shall act as a facilitator. This is why we talk about ease of doing business initiatives.” Bakht added that in Punjab they were scrutinising every regulation with business orientation to check if it was necessary and supported by law. “Going through the filtration process, we found that only a small number of viable regulations in law are required to govern,” he said.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)