Pakistan stock market hits all-time high

March 27th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad, March 27 (DPA) Pakistan’s stock market closed at a record high Thursday, buoyed by a sense of political stability in the country after a new prime minister was inaugurated. Banking, oil and cement stocks led the Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index to hit 15,307 by mid-morning, then went down slightly to close at 15,275, an increase of 0.5 percent, or 77 points, from Wednesday’s close of 15,198.

“On the political side, things are moving in the right direction,” JS Global Capital director Mohd Sohail said. “Stability is on the cards.”

Yousuf Raza Gillani was sworn in as prime minister Tuesday as head of a coalition government after a year in which Pakistan saw a state of emergency, the sacking of top judges, a boycotted presidential election and the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan’s market is protected from the current global economic turmoil because it’s a more local economy with only about 6 percent of the market’s capitalization from overseas.

“That is low compared to other countries, so when there is a sell-off by foreigners, it has less effect,” Sohail said. “It is largely protected from foreign forces.”

Of Karachi exchange’s $75 billion dollars in capitalization about $4 billion to $5 billion is foreign capital.

A UN report released Thursday offered more good news for the economy, projecting 6.5 percent growth through 2008 in their ESCAP Economic and Social Survey on Asia Pacific 2008.

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