PSX Records Highest Foreign Monthly Selling in 15 Months


During the month of February 2020, huge foreign selling was seen at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as offshore investors offloaded shares worth $56 million on a net basis.

This is the highest monthly selling recorded after a gap of 15 months, a research report of Sherman Securities said.

Given the fact that foreigners are estimated to hold one-third of free-float, huge selling by foreigners led to 9.0 percent fall in the KSE-100 Index in February 2020. We relate huge selling by foreigners and sharp decline in Index to global sentiments in equity markets as concerns on the global outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) intensified in February 2020.

This has created a panic like situation in equity markets across the globe as investors fear a slowdown in global demand during the rest of 2020, the report said.

However, despite the fact that Pakistan is largely insulated from the economic impact of COVID-19, the KSE-100 Index stood out as the third-worst performing Asian emerging market (as defined by MSCI) in February 2020, it added.

Indonesia remained the worst-performing market amongst 9 MSCI Asian emerging countries followed by Thailand. Similarly, the MSCI world posted a negative return of 7.0 percent in February. Amongst major sectors, oil stocks remained worst performers amid a sharp decline of 11 percent crude oil prices during February.

Out of $50.2 million net selling in February (excluding February 28 figures), foreigners remained net sellers in oil stocks ($14.4 million) which resulted in huge underperformance in the sector. Moreover, net selling of $14.9 million and $12.7 million was recorded in Cement and Bank sectors (on a net basis), respectively.

According to current data of portfolio investment, an outflow of $21 million was recorded during the outgoing week.

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