The Straits Times
Published on Jan 06, 2013

Pakistan share bounce belies dire straits


KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistan share prices jumped nearly 50 per cent last year in a staggering development that belies major problems in an economy where falling foreign exchange reserves and turmoil could spell trouble in 2013.

Its biggest share bazaar, the Karachi Stock Exchange's benchmark KSE-100 Index founded in 1948, reached a record 17,031 points during trading on Dec 31, 2012, raising hopes among dealers for better prospects in the new year.

Average daily volumes rose from 79 million shares in 2011 to 173 million shares in 2012, rising in value from US$40 million (S$49 million) to US$50 million.

"Pakistan's total return has been one of the best performing markets in the world," said Mr Mohammad Sohail, who heads brokerage firm, Topline Securities.