Shares gain 857 points on hopes of IMF review completion

Shares at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) rose immediately after the opening bell on Wednesday on hopes that the ninth review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme would be completed soon which would unlock $1.2 billion along with inflows from friendly countries.

The benchmark KSE-100 index climbed to 39,912.44 points, up 856.79 points, or 2.19 per cent, at 12:08pm.

Ismail Iqbal Securities’ Head of Research Fahad Rauf said expectations were building that the government would take steps to resume the IMF programme which would help the country avert default.

He noted that exploration and production stocks were performing well on expectations that the circular debt would be reduced and gas prices hiked.

Aba Ali Habib Securities’ Salman Naqvi also shared Rauf’s view, noting that the unofficial cap on the USD-PKR exchange rate in the open market would be removed today.

One of the IMF’s primary conditions was adherence to a market-based exchange rate and the cap’s removal would be a step towards resuming the Fund programme, he said. “This makes it evident that the government is going to fulfil the IMF’s conditions as a result of which there is positivity in the market.”

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