KARACHI - Pakistan stocks fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday as investors continued to liquidate holdings after media reports said any changes in the capital gains tax could be delayed until May.
Brokers had been hoping for changes in the regulations such as a revision of the formula on what to tax. They had also called for less stringent requirements on documentation.
Pakistan’s Finance Ministry and Federal Board of Revenue were unavailable for comment.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended down 0.9 percent, or 123.22 points, at 13,693.74.
Volume fell to 340.51 million shares, compared with 511.29 million shares traded on Wednesday.
Among the most active companies, volume leader Fauji Cement ended 4.9 percent lower at 6.80 rupees, Jahangir Siddiqui fell 5 percent to 19.77 rupees, and D.G.Khan Cement shed 4.34 percent to close at 40.15 rupees.
In the currency market, the rupee ended almost flat at 90.69/75 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 90.68/72.
The rupee has been supported recently by remittances from Pakistanis overseas, which rose 21.45 percent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year.
In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion.
Dealers also said they were awaiting the monetary policy announcement due on Friday, in which the key policy rate is expected to be kept unchanged at 12 percent.
Overnight rates in the money market were flat at 11.90 percent, unchanged from the previous day’s close.
Dealers said there were scheduled outflows of 222 rupees ($2.45 billion) and they expect the central bank to conduct a reverse-repo on Friday.