The outgoing week witnessed a return of the bulls to the local bourse mainly due to clarity on the political front with the successful passage of No Confidence Motion against the PM which resulted in the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the country’s new Premier. However, the noise has not yet settled and is expected to remain high as the ousted govt. of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vows to hold nationwide protests until new elections are called. Moreover, questions on the economic front have resurfaced as members of the new cabinet are being finalised. The expected incoming Finance Minister, Mr. Miftah Ismail, has reiterated that the IMF is a top priority of the newly formed govt, and talks regarding the 7th Extended Funded Facility review will begin shortly. Successful completion of the review will result in proceeds of USD 1.0Bn which are urgently needed given forex reserves have declined considerably ever since the turn of the year and are expected to continue the trend in the wake of high external debt servicing and hefty import bill. Despite these challenges, the PKR underwent robust recovery against the greenback and appreciated by 1.7% during the week to close at PKR 181.6/USD. On the other hand, the index moved between highs and lows of 46,786 and 44,445 points, to settle at 46,602 points (↑4.9% WoW) while volumes surged to 188.4Mn (↑177.9% WoW) and traded value rose to USD 44.7Mn (↑114% WoW).