Friday, August 24, 2007

Europe, ME companies eye stake in Karachi Stock Exchange

Europe, ME companies eye stake in KSE
KARACHI: Nordic and Baltic bourse owner OMX has shown interest in buying a stake in the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), due to be listed by the year-end, the country’s chief regulator said on Tuesday.OMX was among interested parties vying for a sizable minority stake, said Razi-ur-Rahman Khan, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. “Yes, it includes OMX,” Khan told Reuters.The main stakeholders of the exchange are its 200 members, whose stake will be converted into shares. They will then sell some of those shares through an initial public offering.Khan said companies from the Middle East and Europe have inquired about taking a stake in the Karachi bourse. “We are definitely looking at it and will develop a policy in a couple of months,” he said.“It’s not yet been decided how much stake would be sold, it could be more than 5 to 10 per cent, it could be less.”Khan said the most important criterion in choosing a partner would be that if it would bring value to the exchange.Shaukat Tarin, Chairman of the Karachi Stock Exchange, said in June that Deutsche Bank has been appointed to value the exchange and advise on its listing.OMX, which owns and runs exchanges in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and the Baltic states, is itself a takeover target of US exchange Nasdaq.London’s Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday that the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which owns the Dubai International Financial Exchange, also had funding in place to bid as much as 250 Swedish crowns ($37.66) per OMX share.The bid by Nasdaq Stock Market Inc, the largest US electronic stock exchange, was worth roughly $3.6 billion or about 199 crowns per share.The KSE 100-share index has gained about 40 per cent since the beginning of the year, boosting the total market capitalisation to about Rs4 trillion ($66.22bn).

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