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PSX may get strategic partners in six months

PSX may get strategic partners in six months

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) would be able to attract one or more large global exchanges in six months to take over strategic stake, said the bourse chief on Friday.

During a visit of Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan to the stock exchange, PSX Chairman Muneer Kamal said, “With the improvement of qualitative and quantitative parameters, it is expected that Pakistan will be upgraded in MSCI Index.”

Mr Khan, who was invited to hold meetings with senior members and the board, counted the government’s achievements at macro level, reflected by “better position of current account, comfortable foreign exchange reserves, low interest rates and reduced inflation”.

Arif Habib, a veteran market participant, highlighted various areas where government could raise funds in the next five years. While the listing of large state entities would broaden the investor base, he believed that local investors needed to be encouraged in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

He assured that by maintaining the long-term policy and accepting the PSX budget proposals in aggregate, the government would not have any negative impact on its revenue targets.

Some proposals highlighted were the withdrawal of tax on bonus shares; bringing the capital gain tax regime to the original structure introduced in 2010, whereby tax was not payable on securities held for over 12 months; removal of anomaly by withdrawing the capital value tax; tax credit on listing on stock exchange; exemption of tax on inter- company dividends; withdrawal of tax imposed on Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) schemes as introduced in 2015 and treating the investment in REIT units as investment in a stock fund; and avoiding the double taxation on stock brokers’ services.

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange CEO Ejaz Ali Shah also presented certain proposals to improve the commodity market.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2016

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