KARACHI, April 4 (Reuters) - Pakistan stocks rose almost 1.8 percent to a new four-year high on Wednesday, led by blue chips on hopes of progress on capital gains tax (CGT) reforms, dealers said.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended up 1.79 percent, or 244.83 points, at 13,945.30 points, its highest close since May 2008.
Volume rose to 409.3 million shares, compared with 318.14 million shares traded on Tuesday.
“Investors remained interested in blue-chip stocks as volumes climbed to 9 billion rupees ($99 million),” said Samar Iqbal, a dealer at Topline Securities Ltd.
Among heavyweight companies, the National Bank of Pakistan ended 5 percent higher at 49.40 rupees, Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd closed up nearly 1 percent at 12.61 rupees and Oil and Gas Development Co Ltd rose 2.5 percent to 168.15 rupees.
In the currency market, the rupee ended firmer at 90.30/35 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 90.49/54 to the dollar amid a lack of import payments.
The rupee has also been supported recently by remittances from overseas Pakistanis, rising by nearly a quarter to $8.59 billion in the first eight months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $6.96 billion in the 2010/11 period.
In February, remittances totaled $1.16 billion.
In the money market, overnight rates fell to 9.10 percent, compared with the previous day’s close of 9.75 percent amid increased liquidity in the interbank market.
Reporting by Sahar Ahmed; Editing by Rebecca Conway