Chinese bourses set to acquire 40% in Pakistan Stock Exchange

A consortium, which includes three Chinese stock exchanges is set to acquire a 40-per cent stake in Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), the country's main bourse, in a deal estimated to be worth about $85 million.

The Chinese consortium is offering Pakistan Rupee 28 ($0.27) per share to buy the stake, reports quoting a statement by the bourse's top official said.

At Pakistani rupees 28 per share, the potential deal is worth PKR896 crore ($85 million).

The consortium comprises three Chinese exchanges - China Financial Futures Exchange Company Limited, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and two local financial institutions, including Pak-China Investment Company Limited and Habib Bank Limited.

"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)," stated in a release.

Following the sale, the company will offer 20 per cent of its shares to the public, officials say.

The PSX is currently owned by more than 300 Pakistani brokers.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange was formed by the merger of three stock exchanges - the Karachi Stock Exchange, the Lahore Stock Exchange and the Islamabad Stock Exchange - in January this year, under its stock exchange reforms.

The benchmark KSE index of 100 shares has reached a level of 46,699 points compared with 32,816 points on 1 January.

Confidence in Pakistan is growing, with the International Monetary Fund claiming in October that the country has emerged from crisis and stabilised its economy after completing a bailout programme.