Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:07 UK

Voices: Karachi investor gloom

Angry investors have attacked the Karachi Stock Exchange in protest at plunging Pakistani share prices.

Investors who have made big losses and a witness to the protests describe the deepening gloom within the financial community.


Aftermath of protest outside Islamabad stock exchange
Protesters burned tyres outside the Islamabad exchange
I have been affected badly affected by the share prices.

My stock values have gone down a lot. This was an extra income I used to earn which no longer exists. So I feel the pressure.

There are people who are really gloomy, who are finding it really hard - many get all their income from the stock market.

That is what they do. They are in a terrible situation.

I work in the stock market too as an investment analyst. Small investors started protesting and asking the market to be closed down. They were blaming the government for market manipulation.

I think lots of small businesses will be forced to close down.

I don't think the government is doing a good job in dealing with this. I don't think the stock market is their top priority now.

I hope it does become a priority now - this might make them sit up.


A trader at the Karachi Stock Exchange
Pakistan's economy is suffering from high inflation and lending costs
I have lost more in the past two months than I have ever made on the Karachi Stock Exchange in the last four years I have been investing.

I have lost a lot of money for somebody of my age. My shares have gone down by 45%.

It's really hard - you put so much into earning money and a few phone calls later it's all taken away.

Being a student, I have had to work here in London to make up for the losses and I have vowed never to invest in stocks again.

It is a pure gamble.

Back at home my family invests on the stock exchange and I know that a lot of people have been affected by this share price plunge.

The general political situation and the uncertainty hitting the economy has accounted for the downturn. There also seems to be a lack of leadership and an effective strategy on the part of the government.

I do understand the perspective and frustration of the protesters but I don't see the point in protesting.

Whenever I talk to my family back home, they always advise me to go into a professional career and to forget about running my own business in Pakistan.


Gulraiz  Hanif
When I got to the stock exchange at around midday there were people shouting all around market. There was real anger.

They wanted the market to close because they were watching share prices plunge and plunge.

They started throwing stones at the window first of all. Then they went to the main hall and started shouting slogans against key players at the exchange.

At that point security and police arrived and the the violence grew more. When the media came, and the police tried to prevent the media from attending, the protest grew even bigger.

I was on an upper floor looking down. It was my first visit to the market and even though in Karachi we are used to this kind of protest, it has never really happened in such professional places before on such a scale.

People were really frustrated. There were those saying that they have gone bankrupt and that the new government has not done anything.

They shouted that inflation was too high, they didn't have any money and that the market should be closed.

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