Pakistan stocks dip

31-12-2007

Pakistan stocks dip
Pakistan's stock exchange has dipped sharply following the assassination of the country's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto last week.

According to reports from the AFP news agency the Karachi stock exchange top 100 index dropped by 4.7 per cent this morning, with the Bloomberg news agency also reporting a slide in the Pakistani rupee of around 0.75 per cent against the dollar - a six year low for the currency.

This comes despite the exchange being a highly-rated bourse in recent years. The exchange was awarded the title of best performing stock market of the world in 2002, and has been considered a top performing market by US publications including Business Week and USA Today.

Pakistani investments experts blamed the assassination and riots that followed Ms Bhutto's death for the drop in the market.

Shares in the major companies Oil & Gas Development and MCB Bank have both taken big hits, dropping 6.25 and 21 Pakistani rupees in their share price respectively.

Also down were the commercial banks Habib and National and Askari, seeing falls of 12.6, 12.2 and 5.25 rupees respectively.

The stock exchange had been shut down after the murder of Ms Bhutto on December 27th, with president Pervez Musharraf calling for three days of mourning.

With elections scheduled to take place on January 8th 2008, the decision over whether they should go ahead or be postponed until more calm is restored to the country is also leading to further uncertainty in the country's markets.

However, this is expected to end in the next 24 hours, with a decision on whether the elections will take place to be taken by the country's electoral commission tomorrow.

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