Fire Halts, Trading Resumes at Pakistan Stock Exchange

Fire Halts, Trading Resumes at Pakistan Stock Exchange

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) resumed trading after a nearly two-hour suspension on Monday, following a fire that broke out on the fourth floor of the main exchange building in Karachi.

The incident caused significant disruption but was brought under control, allowing trading to recommence.

At 1:40 PM, the benchmark index was recorded at 80,527.39, reflecting an increase of 314.60 points or 0.39% after the resumption of trading. The market had been suspended from 10:25 AM to 12:30 PM due to the fire, which affected several brokerage houses’ offices.

The PSX, in its second notice regarding the incident, assured stakeholders that the situation was under control and that brokerage firms’ staff were returning to their premises. “To ensure smooth reopening of the market for all concerned, the temporary suspension in trading in all securities has been further extended till 12:25 PM today,” the notice read.

Initially, the PSX announced a temporary suspension of trading from 10:25 AM to 11:25 AM due to the fire. However, the suspension extended beyond the initial timeframe, with trading activity remaining halted even at 11:35 AM. Market insiders speculated that trading would resume after an additional delay of approximately one hour.

Before the suspension, at 10:25 AM, the benchmark KSE-100 index stood at 80,240.83, showing a modest increase of 28.04 points or 0.03%.

Saeed Ahmed Soomro of the PSX that four fire brigades responded to the fire at the exchange building. “The fourth floor consists of brokerage houses, and the situation is now under control,” he stated, noting that the cause of the fire was still undetermined.

A brokerage house, informed its clients about the loss of connectivity due to the fire. “Due to a fire incident in Pakistan Stock Exchange building, we have lost our connectivity with the exchange. Our IT team is working their utmost best to restore the connection,” the email read.

This incident is reminiscent of a similar event in 2018, when a fire broke out on the rooftop of the PSX Broker’s building. That fire was managed within 40 minutes by the PSX’s firefighting system, without disrupting trading and clearing operations.

Despite the challenges posed by the fire, the PSX’s swift response and the eventual resumption of trading demonstrate the exchange’s resilience and commitment to maintaining market stability.