KARACHI: Pakistani stocks fell on Friday on sales of blue-chip National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) after it announced a lower-than-expected net profit for the quarter ending March 30, dealers said.
NBP announced a net profit of 4.6 billion rupees ($50.63 million)for Jan-March quarter, compared with a 4.2 billion in the same period last year. Analysts had been expecting a net profit of 5 billion rupees.
The bank did not announce any dividend with the result.
"Lower-than-expected profits by NBP resulted in profit taking in key stocks," said Samar Iqbal, a dealer at Topline Securities Ltd.
NBP shed 3.38 percent to end at 47.15 rupees.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index closed 0.17 percent, or 23.32 points, lower at 14,042.77 points on turnover of 196.16 million shares.
The index ended at 14,217.74 on Wednesday, the highest close since May 2008.
In the currency market, the rupee ended weaker at 90.85/90 to the dollar, compared with Thursday's close of 90.80/86 because of increased import payments.
The rupee has been supported by remittances, which rose 21.45 percent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year.
In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion.
In its monetary policy statement this month, the State Bank of Pakistan said the external sector was likely to remain under pressure because of both external debt payments and a lack of foreign aid.
Pakistan's GDP growth is estimated at 3.2 percent for 2011/12 fiscal year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
The growth target was 4.2 percent as originally presented in the budget announced June 2011 and later revised down to 4 percent following floods in August and September that year.
Pakistan's current account deficit widened to a provisional $3.089 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $10 million over the same period in the previous year, the central bank said on Wednesday.
Overnight rates in the money market ended flat at 11.90 percent, unchanged from the previous day's close amid tight liquidity in the interbank market. AGENCIES