The Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) has received an overwhelming feedback from foreign as well as local investors in response to its invitation for expression of interest (EOI) for acquiring equity stake in PSX.
Divestment Committee of the PSX, constituted by the SECP towards the end of February 2016 in pursuance of provisions of the Stock Exchanges (Corporatization, Demutualization and Integration) Regulations, 2012, was mandated to oversee and complete the process for divestment of PSX’s 40 per cent equity stake to local and/or international investors. The whole or part of the said stake is proposed to be transferred either to a Strategic Investor or alternatively, a minimum of 25 per cent equity stake may also be sold to a financial investor which opts to act as an anchor investor while the remaining part of the stake, if any, would go to other selected financial institutions where, a single financial institution is allowed to acquire up to 5 per cent of the stake.
The committee, after extensive deliberations and in consultation with the SECP, the apex regulator, released the Invitation for Expression of Interest in leading print and electronic editions of local and international newspapers and simultaneously, posted it on PSX’s website on May 31. Originally, the last date for submission of EOIs was set at 30 days from the date of release of the Invitation which was later extended until August 15.
In the meantime, members of the Divestment Committee and management of PSX aggressively pursued prospects in various jurisdictions and in the process, also personally visited potential investors and investment advisors in China, the US and UK, official quarters said.
As a result of the extensive campaign and persistent follow-up, by the end of the deadline on Monday, the PSX received a total of 17 EOIs from foreign and local investors applying under the categories of ‘Strategic Investor’, ‘Anchor Investor’ and ‘Financial Institution’. In the next step, the Divestment Committee will assess all the EOIs received and then forward them along with comments to the SECP for pre-qualification. The SECP, after its own assessment, will declare any or all of the parties submitting the EOIs eligible to carry out due diligence of PSX and on that basis submit their binding offers for acquisition of requisite stake in PSX.