Pakistan’s Stocks Rise to 3-Week High as Fauji Fertilizer Gains

Pakistan’s stocks rose to a three-week high, led by Fauji Fertilizer Co., the biggest maker of the farming material, which reports earnings tomorrow.

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index gained 1.5 percent to 16,894.09, the highest close since Dec. 31. Fauji Fertilizer rose 1.5 percent to 120.36 rupees, the biggest contributor to the benchmark index’s advance. Lucky Cement Ltd., due to report profit on Jan. 28, rose 1.6 percent to 153.46 rupees.

“Investors are confident that the earning season will be pretty good this quarter,” Khurram Schehzad, head of research at Arif Habib Ltd., said by phone.

Arif Habib, a Karachi-based brokerage, forecasts overall earnings to rise as much as 15 percent in the three months to Dec. 31 from a year earlier, he said. The KSE 100 trades for 6.9 times estimates for this year’s profit, the lowest among 15 Asia-Pacific benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg.

The KSE 100 tumbled 3.2 percent on Jan. 15, the biggest drop since August 2011, after the nation’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. The gauge has climbed 4.9 percent since then, after the chairman of the anti-corruption agency told the chief justice Jan. 17 there isn’t enough evidence to arrest the prime minister and others accused of graft in awarding power contracts.

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