Showcasing Pakistani capital market

Aug 06 - 12, 2007

As it completes a decade of its operations, CDC, apart from being the only electronic depository of securities in the country, has assumed a role of national significance of leading the drive for capital market development. From educating investors in the distant cities of Pakistan and in the UAE to showcasing the Pakistani Capital Market in the UK and USA, CDC has been making consistent efforts to widen the investor base for the country's capital market.

The journey that started from Sialkot on February 12, 2005 has evolved into an international drive to attract investment in the Pakistani Capital Market. The investment road shows in distant Pakistani cities and the UAE were aimed at educating the retail investors in order to broaden the investor base. Gaining momentum from it, CDC has taken a giant leap by joining hands with worlds leading bourse 'the London Stock Exchange' to organize Capital Market Days in London and Citibank for organizing a similar event in New York. The recent efforts in the shape of Capital Market Days had the same steadfast enthusiasm, yet an entirely different approach of targeting the nucleus of global investments in the shape of leading fund managers/institutional investors.

Pakistan Capital Market Days were aimed to introduce the Pakistani corporates to the world and to bring investment in the capital market by arranging meetings of leading UK and USA based fund managers with Pakistani issuers. The companies showcased included Engro Chemicals, Askari Commercial Bank, MCB Bank, Habib Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan, DG Khan Cement, TRG Pakistan, Lucky Cement and Kot Addu Power Co. Ltd. (KAPCO). AKD SECURITIES LIMITED and InvestCap Securities also supported the event in New York.

The first road show was held in London on July 06, 2007 in the premises of London Stock Exchange. The formal proceedings of the event began with a welcome address by Mr. Martin Graham, Director of Markets, and London Stock Exchange. Mr. Graham heartily welcomed the delegates and said 'Today's event is a part of the international road shows undertaken by the Central Depository Company of Pakistan. We are delighted to help realize CDC's vision to deliver greater visibility and profile for the Pakistani Issuers represented here in London'. The Federal Minister for Privatization & Investment of Pakistan, Mr. Zahid Hamid, gave an overview of Economic Reforms & Privatization in Pakistan. This helped set up a positive & promising backdrop to the investment environment in Pakistan giving confidence to the foreign investors to invest in Pakistani companies. Next was an informative presentation by Mr. Shahzad Chamdia, Director - CDC about the Regulatory Framework & Clearing and Settlement in Pakistan, which clarified market processes for the foreign investors assuring them of the efficiency, transparency and security of the processes. Before proceeding for lunch, the Pakistani Issuer Companies gave insightful presentations to the audience. Immediately after lunch, the representatives of the Issuer Companies proceeded for their scheduled one-on-one meetings with over 12 major institutional investors and fund managers, which gave them an excellent opportunity to directly solicit investment in their stocks.

If the success at London was huge, the Capital Markets Day in New York was even better! Like the previous event, 'Pakistan Capital Market Day' in New York at New York Palace Hotel, on July 10, 2007 also aimed to facilitate face-to-face dialogue between corporate entities and USA based leading fund managers/institutional investors who are interested to invest in our region. The event kicked off with a formal introduction by Citibank followed by a welcome address by Chairman CDC, Bashir Janmohammed. Federal Minister for Privatization and Investments of Pakistan, Mr. Zahid Hamid in his keynote speech gave a multi-dimensional insight into the government's economic and social reforms, privatization program, investment policy, capital market reforms and the current macro-economic review. Mr. Shahzad Chamdia, Director CDC gave an informative presentation on Regulatory Framework & Clearing and Settlement in Pakistan. AKD Securities and InvestCap Securities apart from introducing their companies also highlighted the significant macro-economic indicators including a spotlight on the performance of the stock market in front of the distinguished audience. Due to the shortage of time and the level of interest and enthusiasm shown by the international fund managers, fund managers and Pakistani Issuer Companies directly proceeded to hold one-on-one meetings.

In addition to enlightening the audiences about the opportunities offered by the positive developments in Pakistani economy resulting in buoyancy of the Capital Markets, the event gave Pakistani Issuer Companies an opportunity to inform potential investors and fund managers about their progress, financial strength and future prospects. Around 43 major international fund manager/institutional investors held one-on-one meetings with Pakistani Issuers. These meetings, arranged by Citibank, were in addition to the meetings arranged by Bank of New York Mellon a day earlier. Overall, the event witnessed over a hundred meetings of fund managers and Pakistani Issuer companies. Such an unprecedented enthusiasm shows the extent of the interest of the global investors in sharing the pie of the Pakistani Capital Market success.

The response from New York financial community was also highly encouraging. The delegation consisting of senior officials of CDC, Stock Exchanges, leading Pakistani brokerage firms and Minister for Privatization & Investment Mr. Zahid Hamid on their scheduled visit to New York Stock Exchange, Bank of New York Mellon and NASDAQ held fruitful discussions for increasing mutual understanding and opening avenues for future cooperation.

While in New York, CDC also signed an MOU with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) of USA for exchange of information. The signing of the MOU with DTCC would provide CDC an opportunity to learn from advanced market of the United States in the area of technology, operational activities and customer care. The pact with Pakistan marks the latest in a series of agreements signed by DTCC with depositories in Asia.

The efforts by CDC were highly praised by all involved for immaculate coordination in arranging such a flawless and high profile event. Overall, the event successfully showcased the investment friendly environment of Pakistan and the promising investment opportunities offered by the Pakistani Capital Markets owing to the recent revival of economic growth in Pakistan. Encouraged by the overwhelming success of the Capital Market Days, London Stock Exchange and Bank of New York Mellon have showed keenness to hold similar events in the upcoming months. As evident from the encouraging response from the global investors & fund managers, the event is expected to boost the drive for investment in Pakistani Capital Markets as well as opening direct communication channels between the two economies.