Pak bourse to sell 40% stake

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

KARACHI:

Pakistan’s main bourse is to sell a 40 per­cent stake next week, a com­pany of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day, cit­ing Chi­nese and Bri­tish con­sor­tia as among the prospec­tive buy­ers. At least 17 en­ti­ties have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in the Pakistan Stock Ex­change (PSX), whose bench­mark stock in­dex was one of the best per­form­ing in­dices world­wide in 2016, gain­ing 38 per­cent so far. The PSX is cur­rently owned by more than 300 Pak­istani bro­kers. “We are open­ing bid­ding for the 40 per­cent share of the PSX on De­cem­ber 15,” Shahzad Cham­dia, chief of a PSX di­vest­ment com­mit­tee, told AFP.

An­a­lysts es­ti­mate the deal will be worth around $225 mil­lion, but the com­mit­tee de­clined to com­ment. “We have the ref­er­ence share price be­ing eval­u­ated by a third party and will re­veal it only on the bid­ding day,” Cham­dia said. Sources at the PSX said a con­sor­tium con­sist­ing of the Shang­hai Stock Ex­change, the Shen­zen Stock Ex­change and a Chi­nese fund is bid­ding, as well as an­other con­sor­tium of UK fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions led by NAS­DAQ Tech­nol­ogy.

Cham­dia did not re­veal the names of ei­ther con­sor­tia but con­firmed that Chi­nese and Bri­tish stock com­pa­nies were in the run­ning. Other bid­ders in­clude Pak­istani banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, but their chances of win­ning are thought to be un­likely. Fol­low­ing the sale, the com­pany plans to of­fer 20 per­cent of its shares to the pub­lic, Cham­dia said. Un­der its stock ex­change re­forms, Pakistan merged its three stock ex­changes - the Karachi Stock Ex­change, the La­hore Stock Ex­change and the Is­lam­abad Stock Ex­change - to form the PSX in Jan­uary this year. The bench­mark KSE in­dex of 100 shares was at its high­est ever level of 45319 points yes­ter­day, com­pared with 32816 points on Jan 1. — AFP

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