Pakistan Stocks: Habib Bank, MCB Bank, Pakistan Petroleum

Pakistan’s benchmark Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index rose 1.2 percent to 12,031.46, the highest since July 2008.

Pakistan’s lenders gained on speculation the central bank may raise interest rates, boosting profitability of existing loans. “Yesterday’s treasury bill auction increased speculation the benchmark rate may rise, which will impact the profitability of banks,” said Faraz Farooq, a Karachi-based analyst with First Capital Securities Ltd.

MCB Bank Ltd. (MCB PA), the country’s biggest by market value, climbed 1.3 percent to 227.81 rupees, the highest since August 2008. Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL PA), the second biggest by assets, jumped 4.8 percent to 124.74 rupees, and Allied Bank Ltd. (ABL PA) increased 4.1 percent to 70.5 rupees.

Pakistan’s energy stocks climbed in Karachi trading after crude traded near a 26-month high in New York on speculation the U.S. Energy Department will report a drop in weekly stockpiles, signaling demand is growing in the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation.

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd.(PPL PA), gained 1.6 percent to 216.97 rupees, the most in two weeks. Pakistan Oilfields Ltd. (POL PA), added 2.9 percent to 298.12 rupees, its highest since July 2008.

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