KARACHI: A consortium led by Shanghai Stock Exchange won the bidding round for 40 percent stakes in Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) against a consideration of $85 million approximately. “The bid submitted by Chinese Consortium at Rs28 per share emerged as the highest and acceptable under the relevant Regulations,” the statement issued by PSX said. The said Consortium comprises of three Chinese Exchanges, i.e. China Financial Futures Exchange Company Limited (being the lead bidder), Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shenzhen Stock Exchange and two local Financial Institutions, i.e. Pak China Investment Company Limited and Habib Bank Limited. The Divestment Committee will now issue the Letter of Acceptance to the above consortium, subject to formal approval of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan[SECP]. Zeeshan Afzal at Insight Securities said the selloff would improve PSX operations and help in introduction of futures/derivatives products. “This will also boost trading activities and further improve the confidence of foreign investors,” he added. Mohammad Sohail CEO Topline Securities has termed the successful divestment in the bourse as positive development and expects increase in liquidity with brokers. Pakistan equity market has remained resilient to foreign outflows in 2016 apparent from a 38.3 percent return recorded during the year, as opposed to previous years when market was negatively impacted by foreign outflows. The solid performance of the market can be explained by the high levels of liquidity available with the local investors, who have been absorbing the pressure of foreign selling. This could be reason enough for the market to potentially yield strong returns in the oncoming year. Shahbaz Ashraf Head of Research at Arif Habib Limited said this sell-off would yield additional foreign funding of around $85 million. “It would also facilitate the development of new products such as options, weekly derivatives and other products, aid technological upgradation, cross border listing, and access to international markets.” Under the divestment policy, PSX would offer another 20 percent (160 million) shares to the general public within six months of the completion of acquisition process by the strategic investors. Brokers, who were yet owners of the privately run PSX, may opt to sell the rest of their 40 percent stake or part of the remaining stake with them in the future. Earlier, in January 2016, three local bourses namely the Karachi Stock Exchange, Islamabad Stock Exchange and Lahore Stock Exchange were integrated into the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The integration was done to attract strategic investors, as it stood in line with government’s vision of a fair, efficient and transparent market with one national stock exchange conforming to international standards.