‘Pakistan’s record IPO run expected to gather pace’

Pakistan’s record run of initial public offerings is expected to gather pace in coming months as more companies rush to raise funds amid the economic recovery, Bloomberg, quoting the chief executive officer of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) as saying.

The report stated that seven companies raised an unprecedented Rs17 billion ($100 million) in the financial year ended in June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The total for the current year will be “significantly higher,” Farrukh Khan said in an interview.

He said that “there’s a full pipeline” of companies planning to list. “IPOs happen because people need capital, so you need good things happening at the exchange level; that the exchange is functioning well, there’s ample liquidity, investors are available and the valuations are good.”

The PSX CEO pointed to the success of Air Link Communication Ltd. — which started trading last week following the country’s largest private-sector IPO — and Octopus Digital’s offer that was oversubscribed within 30 minutes of opening its book building, as evidence that current weakness in the markets won’t deter potential applicants.

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The Pakistan Stock Exchange, which is 40% owned by a consortium of Chinese bourses, is embedding a new trading platform acquired from its partner Shenzen Stock Exchange Co. that will allow new products to be launched in about two months.

The stock exchange is also working on a plan that will enable trading in sovereign bonds by the end of the year, Farrukh said, adding that index trading, derivatives or options trading will be launched between January-June after consultation with market players.

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