Pakistan stocks end higher, rupee strengthens

KARACHI: Pakistan’s main stock exchange closed higher on Friday as investors bet that the central bank would not raise interest rates after the International Monetary Fund agreed a bail-out loan for Pakistan.

The benchmark 100-share index of the Karachi Stock Exchange rose 1.40 per cent, or 314.41 points, to 22,765.87.

Stocks like the National Bank of Pakistan, conglomerate Engro Corporation Ltd, Maple Leaf Cement, and textile group Nishat Chunian witnessed renewed buying interest and closed at their upper cap of 5 per cent, dealers said.

National Bank of Pakistan rose 5 percent to 50.61 rupees while Engro Corporation was up 5 per cent to 152.59 rupees.

This week the IMF approved a $6.7 billion loan package for Pakistan if the country implemented fiscal reforms like tackling rampant tax evasion.

The rupee ended higher at 104.66/104.72 against the dollar compared to Thursday’s close of 104.76/104.81.

Overnight rates in the money market fell to 6.50 per cent from Thursday’s close of 6.75 per cent.