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China group eyes Pak bourse stake

A consortium led by three Chinese exchanges has offered Rs28 ($0.27) per share to buy a 40 per cent stake in the Pakistan Stock Exchange, according to a statement and the bourse’s top official.

“All I can say … is the Chinese consortium is the top bidder,” Managing Director Nadeem Naqvi said ahead of an official announcement of the bids.

The consortium is led by the China Financial Futures Exchange Company, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzen Stock Exchange, according to a PSX statement.

It also includes two Pakistani financial institutions, the Pak-China Investment Company and Habib Bank.

Naqvi said 40 per cent of the Karachi-based stock exchange represents 320 million shares. That would make the potential deal worth Pakistan rupees 8.96 billion ($85 million).

Earlier, at least 17 parties submitted expressions of interest, Naqvi said. He would not say how many had made formal bids.

Pakistan’s stock exchange has been one of Asia’s best performing for several years and was recently approved to be restored to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, giving it a wider range of potential investors than as a Frontier Market.

The index has since gained 21 per cent in terms of points, closing at 46,699.78 on Thursday.

“The Divestment Committee will now issue the Letter of Acceptance to the above Consortium, subject to formal approval of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan [SECP],” read the statement confirming the bid

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