INTERVIEW

'PAKISTAN'S EQUITY MARKET TO SOON REGAIN LOST STRENGTH'

KANWAL SALEEM
Feb 09 - 15, 2009

Spreading over 50 years of professional services in Pakistan's capital market, Abbasi & Company (pvt) Limited is among the pioneers in setting up securities business in the country.

Syed Ghazanfer Ali Abbasi who started share business in the year 1956 is pioneer of this company which was registered in 1964. This Company has earned and maintained a reputation of a leading Investment House due to fairness and commitments in its dealings.

Abbasi & Company (pvt) Limited is Corporate Member of the Lahore Stock Exchange Limited and is a Universal Member of National Commodity Exchange Limited. The Company is principally engaged in the business of brokerage, underwriting, buying and selling of shares, commodity futures, modarba certificates etc.

Syed Muhammad Ishaq Abbasi is sitting Chief Operating Officer of Abbasi & Company (pvt) Limited. He is among the second generation of his family which is engaged in the stock business.

Syed Muhammad Ishaq Abbasi who did his MBA Marketing & Finance from National College of Business Administration Lahore in the year 2006 is talented and has dynamic personality. He believes on fair dealings in business.

In an exclusive interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist, Syed Muhammad Ishaq Abbasi shared his experience and vision of the stock business. He showed great amount of commitment in taking to his company to new heights. He also told this scribe that Pakistan's stock market has huge potential and soon it will regain its lost strength.

For him, choosing a broker is like choosing a doctor or dentist. A good broker is required to put his client interests first, focus on long-term relationship, has realistic approach and aware about changing needs. He said that the vision of

Abbasi & Company (pvt) Limited company is client focused, service driven and growth oriented, endeavoring for the excellence as a best brokerage house and the provider of premier investment services through organizational excellence, integrity and making meaningful contributions to capital market.

'Our business segments include: equity sales & trading, commodity futures trading, online trading, separately managed portfolios, market research capital raising activities,' he said. He said: 'we believe in a relationship formed on a commitment to high ethics which is of major value to us and our clients''.

Sharing his views about the present state of affairs in the country's stock markets, he said that stock market isa reflection of the country's' economy which moved on the basis macro indicators, fundamentals and technical analysis.

He said no doubt, things were not as good as they should be or the way the business people wanted to see them. He said the country's economy including stock business had to suffer a lot on account of poor law and order situation, political instability, decline in foreign reserves, decline in GDP growth rate. There was severe recession in the country's stock market business during the period from April to October 2008, he added.

However, he said that things are being normalised and year 2009 will be positive for the country's bourses. He foresees revival of the country's stock business in July-August this year when hopefully interest rate would bring down and positive impact of decline in oil prices, improvement in law & order and inflow of foreign investment would start appearing. He was of the view that the size of Pak economy is small, therefore, with some positive indicators, it starts improving.

He said that the government needs to take some steps for slashing the rising cost of doing business in the country. 'Pakistan needs an export-oriented trade policy, new investment, knowledge and technology in order to promote its export base - this is possible with political stability,' he added.

Answering a question, Mr. Abbasi said the country consistently needs 7-8% of GDP growth. This is not possible without a sustainable 10-11% real growth in exports per annum. In order to achieve these goals Pakistan needs to increase its investment-to-GDP ratio to around 30%. The government needs to focus on improving the capacity to negotiate market access with more meaningful implementation of domestic trade reforms.

When asked about Rs 20 billion State Enterprise Fund, he said this fund is being used for 8 selected scrips. The fund needs to be provided for trading in other scrips, he asserted. He suggested separation of ready market and leverage market to help stabilise the stock market in real terms.