Pakistan reforming capital markets: Shaukat Aziz


BOAO: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday said Pakistan was regularly reforming the country’s capital markets by undertaking more reforms including de-mutualisation besides having stronger regulatory regimes.

Talking to Chairman of Merrill Lynch here on the sidelines of the Boao Asia Forum 2007, the Prime Minister said more companies were being encouraged to list in the market and raise equity through public offerings.

He said many larger Pakistani companies were tapping the global markets and the government was also encouraging these to raise equity in the market. He said greater participation of foreign and local investors in the equity market was being encouraged to create growth and allow Pakistan to tap the huge pools of liquidity that exist in the market today.

The Chairman of Merrill Lynch said his company was very bullish on Pakistan’s equity market and said more investment will come as the market was still undervalued and there was lot of interest from all over the world in Pakistani equities.

A latest research by Merrill Lynch described Pakistan as its favourite Asian market. It stated that in Pakistan foreigners can own only 4 per cent of the stock market, but its turnover was USD 400 million per day. It also described Pakistan’s privatisation program as the best in Asia and companies like Standard

Meanwhile, the Chairman Microsoft Bill Gates assured that for the promotion of IT, his company would provide technical expertise for establishment of R&D centres in Pakistan.

Bill Gates was talking to the Prime Minister at the sidelines of Boao Conference. Aziz said Pakistan wants to establish a strong and long-term relationship with the Microsoft to promote IT culture and IT literacy in the country.

He said Pakistan is planning to set up Research and Development centres in IT and will invite experts from Microsoft and wants to establish strategic relationship with Microsoft to develop its IT infrastructure.

He said that Pakistan wants to position itself as a regional hub for outsourcing and software development and is introducing the IT education to the youth at school level.

Efforts are being made to provide IT access easily to the youth so that they could play their due rule even at the world level, headed.

“It is the age of Information and Microsoft which has tremendously promoted computer and IT technology. Therefore we want Microsoft to have more involvement in Pakistan,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that Pakistan would enhance its contacts with the Microsoft for the promotion of IT education among the youth.

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