Pakistan stock market suffered from two contentious issues, political uncertainty and SECP probe of the erring brokers. The market posted 2.2%MoM paltry gains. While Supreme court judgment fell short of disqualifying the prime minister, investigations against certain brokers, dented investors’ confidence.
While AKD Securities termed investors’ participation healthy with daily trading volume for the month averaging at 240 million shares, activity remaining concentrated in mid-tier stocks. The volume leaders emerged: ASL, TRG and EPCL. In terms of price performance at the main board, Automobiles and Parts were clearly ahead gaining 21.8%MoM on above expected financial results coupled with new model launches, while trailing far behind were Oil & Gas, Cements and Textiles.
The triggers included formal MSCI EM inclusion in May'17 and expectations of populist budgetary measures; any further regulatory tightening by SECP continues to hang in the balance. The brokerage house continues to advocate scrips potentially making it to MSCI EM index (OGDC, HBL, UBL, MCB, LUCK, PSO, HUBC, ENGRO and NML) while also favoring Auto names like INDU and PSMC. However, foreigners continued to sell (April'17 net outflow of US$36.3 million) taking CYTD outflows to US$198.7 million. Going into May'17, AKD Securities expects formal MSCI EM inclusion and anticipated populist budgetary measures to catalyze performance. However, further regulatory tightening along with political noise are key concerns.