OGDC pulls index down by 65 points

KARACHI: From deep in red, the KSE-100 index re­­bounded in the last hour to close at marginal loss of 65 points (0.15 per cent) at 42,561.

The market performance on Wednesday was mainly directed by one heavyweight scrip: Oil and Gas Develop­ment Company. It opened positive and the index rose to intraday high 48 points. In a short while, the stocks started to fall like ninepins in the lead of OGDC which sank to its lower circuit.

Nervous investors started to ditch stocks in exploration and production and other sectors, which saw the index tank to intraday low by 483 points. The OGDC stock came in for heavy battering following rumours that the government would be divesting its holdings at a discount.

Later in the day, a letter by Privatisation Commis­sion clarified that appointment of financial advisers for the divestment of up to 7pc shares in OGDC was in process and that there was “absolutely no consideration to offer OGDC shares either at a discount or on an historical average”. That put back life into the scrip which made partial recovery while also leading the volume list with trading noted in 19 million shares.

Investors switched to cement stocks where they hoped for recovery in prices in the aftermath of reported meeting of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association members on Thursday. The leading share, Lucky, climbed closed at its upper lock.

The volume was about the same as the previous day at 178m shares, while traded value surged 36pc to reach $60m, as against $44.1m. Sectors-wise, cement, fertilisers and banks performed positively.

Stocks that dragged the index down included OGDC, decreasing by 3.37pc, Pakis­tan Tobacco 3.54pc, Dawood Hercules 1.44pc, Pakistan State Oil 1.18pc and Pakis­tan Oilfields 0.90pc, which was largely offset by gains in Lucky Cement, higher by 3.08pc, Fauji Fretiliser 1.25pc, Engro Corporation 0.75pc and MCB 0.86pc.

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