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KARACHI: The stock market ended lower despite an initial spike on news of the government going ahead with the privatisation of major state owned entities, which ended with a drop near the end of the day. The Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-share index dropped 0.3% or 66.39 points to end at 22,085.96 points. “Pakistan equities opened upbeat over positive sentiments due to developments on the privatisation front, with the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation planning to begin with Pakistan Petroleum (PPL PA -0.4%) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) (PIAA PA +13.5%) among other entities in the first phase,” said Fareesa Baig of Elixir Securities. “However, activity remained range bound for most of the day, with volumes painfully low, before closing 66 points in the red. Pakistan State Oil (PSO PA -2.3%) remained under pressure as government called off recent hike in residential power tariffs while final decision is yet to be announced by the power regulator,” Baig added. “The market experienced a dull session today with volumes of 105 million shares. News about privatisation of PIA and four other entities triggered massive buying interest in PIA shares during the early hours of the day. Amongst results, Nishat Chunian Power Limited announced earnings per share (EPS) of Rs7.45 along with a dividend of Rs2.0 while Nishat Chunian Limited posted an EPS of Rs12.51 along with a dividend of Rs2.0 and a 10% bonus,” said Wasi Khan of JS Global. Trade volumes rose slightly to 105 million shares compared with Thursday’s tally of 102 million shares. Shares of 296 companies were traded on Friday. At the end of the day 112 stocks closed higher, 160 declined while 24 remained unchanged. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs3.5 billion. Pak Electron was the volume leader with 9.2 million shares losing Rs0.75 to finish at Rs5.01. It was followed by Telecard Limited with 8.5 million shares gaining Rs0.03 to close at Rs6.1 and Nishat Chunian with 6.2 million shares losing Rs0.52 to close at Rs58.85. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs175 million, according to data maintained by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited.

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