In August this year, Bloomberg News reported Shanghai Electric's US$1.6 billion for 66% stake in K-Electric, Karachi's main electric utility.
Multinational Acquisitions in Pakistan:
In July 2016, two multinational giants acquired 2 Pakistani companies as part of their growth strategy to establish presence in Pakistan.
Dutch dairy giant FrieslandCampina acquired 51 % of Karachi-based Engro Foods Limited, the second largest dairy producer in Pakistan.
In the same week in July, Turkey's Arcelik announced purchase of Dawlance, Pakistan's market-leading home appliance maker.
Both cited opportunity for double-digit growth in the emerging market as the main reason for their acquisitions.
The Shanghai Stock Exchange has the world's fourth largest market cap. The possible Pakistan tie-up could encourage Chinese companies to expand into the South Asian country and perhaps even list on the PSX.
Pakistan Top Performing Market in Asia:
As of Sept 30, 2016, KSE100 index, the PSX's key stock index, has gained almost 24 percent year to date making Pakistan the best performing market in Asia. Vietnam and Indonesia follow with returns of 18% and 16.8%, respectively, while India’s Sensex Index has gained only 6.7%.
Year-to-date, the Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF (PAK) has gained 21.7%, according to Barron's Asia.
PSX official Ayyaz Afzal told The Nikkei Asian Review that "Shanghai is one of two stock exchanges who submitted us letters of intent (to acquire PSX stakes)".
The other bidder is a bourse in the Middle East. Afzal said the PSX could receive additional letters of intent by December, and "before March 2017, I think there will be some positive news about the strategic investor," he said.
A total of 576 companies are listed on the PSX, with an aggregate market cap of slightly higher than 8 trillion rupees (US$80 billion), according to Nikkei Asian Review. Pakistan, the world's sixth most populous nation, is home to some 190 million people. Its economy in 2015 was the globe's 41st largest, at $270 billion.
ADB Pakistan Forecast:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently raised Pakistan's economic growth forecast for fiscal year 2017 (from July 2016 to June 2017) from 4.8% to 5.2%. The Bank also sees brighter outlook for the the entire South Asian region. However, the prospects of even a limited India-Pakistan war could derail the economies of the entire South Asia region. I hope that sanity will prevail in New Delhi to tone down its war rhetoric, abstain from escalation and maintain the current economic momentum.
Pakistan's economic recovery is in full swing with double digit growth in multiple industries, including auto, pharma, chemicals, cement, fertilizers, minerals, etc. It is expected to pick up steam over the next several years with new investments on the back of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related projects. Prospects of even a limited war in South Asia could derail the economies of the entire region. I hope that sanity will prevail in New Delhi to abstain from escalation and maintain the current economic momentum.
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