Interview with Mr. Majid Masood — Director of High Land Securities
Mr. Majid Masood is Director of High Land Securities (Pvt) Limited, which is a member of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). In an interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE), Mr. Majid Masood shared his views about the country’s stock exchange and challenges faced by it.
He said Pakistan Stock Exchange was ranked as the fifth best performing stock market in the world in the year 2016 according to Bloomberg and still our stock exchange continues to grow in an upward trend.
Although decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment have led to a slow growth in Pakistan, the country has managed to succeed in attracting very positive reviews from numerous Western media houses, the World Bank and many globally-acclaimed credit rating agencies.
Pakistan has beaten major Asian economies in stock market performance as our country’s benchmark equity index, the KSE 100, has been the fifth best performing throughout the world. It comes out that the improving political and financial stability is helping to revive Pakistan’s stock market.
Talking on prospectus of Pakistan’s stock market in the year 2017, Mr. Majid said he was optimistic that the benchmark of KSE-100 would cross 60,000 mark by June this year. He was of the view that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has provided enormous opportunities to Pakistani investors.
Given the present situation, it is expected that Pakistani exports would surge while Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan is also expected to increase in time ahead. “All these developments would lead positive impact on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.”
Mr. Majid maintained that the CPEC is the foundation for regional cooperation, improving economic growth, offering trade diversifications, investing in transportation, mining and energy sectors and creating political flexibility.
He said the completion of Gwadar would make it the economic hub of Balochistan and create a strategic nexus between Pakistan, China and Central Asia, generating billions in revenue and providing shorter land routes up to approximately 10,000 km. It would provide links from the Caspian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz, and enable Gwadar to compete with Persian Gulf ports.
According to him, the prospects of mega project are diverse investment opportunities, industrial cooperation, financial cooperation, agricultural cooperation, tourism, educational linkage, human resource development, health care and people to people contact. The CPEC project also calls for construction of railways to connect Gwadar Port to Pakistan’s railway system at Jacobabad, with eventual construction of a railway line all the way to China’s Xinjiang province 3,000 kilometers away via the proposed Khunjerab Railway.
Talking about High Land Securities (Pvt) Limited, Mr. Majid Masood said, “our equity-focused Discretionary Managed Service provides investors with a bespoke equity investment opportunity. This is ultimately designed around the knowledge and experience of our team, with the aim to identify and cater for our client’s investment objectives, financial position and the different risk profiles.” He said, “we are committed to providing this Discretionary Managed Service, which aims to add value to your investment exposure through our different accounts.”
He said “we believe in team work and our committee meets regularly to review market trends and developments, economic events and corporate news in order to adapt our investment stance to reflect our ongoing analysis.”
As to a question, he said the merger of the three stock exchanges in the country into the Pakistan Stock Exchange has created enormous opportunities for the investors. The idea of merger was to usher in an era of privately owned and operated stock markets so that the necessary investment in upgrading the infrastructure of the exchanges could be mobilized and superior oversight could restrain the power of the large brokers to manipulate the market and engage in unethical trading practices, he added.
He said the brokers need to focus exclusively on trading as the way to make money through the stock market is the big challenge. An integrated stock exchange is helping in this process. What is needed to secure the investors so that they could work diligently without any fear of manipulation.
Mr. Majid Masood said currently the cement, auto, fertilizer and pharma sectors are showing good performance and it is expected that the scrips of these sectors would show upward trends in coming days provided nothing negative took place.
When asked about challenges faced to them, Mr. Majid said that under Margin Trading System (MTS), only 38 companies are authorized trading while over 60 companies have been deleted from this system. In order to provide ease to investors, it is necessary that more companies be authorized for trading under MTS.
He, however, lauded the role of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) vis-à-vis providing ease to the investors of stock exchange.