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Bright prospects for economy, capital market of Pakistan.

Byline: Khalil Ahmed

Interview with Syed Farhan Karim - Vice President, Capital Market Arif Habib Limited

PAGE: How would you comment on the impact of the recent mini-budget/economic package on the capital market?

Syed Farhan Karim: I see the recent economic package as having a positive impact on volume and interest in the capital market. The government has announced abolition of 0.02 percent advanced tax on brokers and allowed carry forward of capital losses for three years. Other favorable measures for the revival of domestic industries were also announced. This is expected to have a positive impact on the listed companies. Overall, the economic reforms package has had a positive impact on the overall confidence in the stock market.

PAGE: Could you tell us about the recent developments in the primary and secondary markets?

Syed Farhan Karim: Over the past decade, IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), SPOs (Secondary Public Offerings) and SEOs (Secondary Equity Offerings) remained a major source of fund raising and capital formation for companies. Over the past decade, Rs255 billion has been raised from the market, while more importantly, Rs236 billion has been raised during past five years. Major developments in the last year included Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of At-Tahur Limited (PREMA) and Matco Foods Limited (MFL). We believe that with rising interest rates, companies will be inclined to raise funding from the capital market.

PAGE: What is your take on the foreign investment in the capital market of Pakistan in a couple of years?

Syed Farhan Karim: Foreign flows going forward should witness a surge after recent years' continuous selling. Entry into an IMF program will be a major factor attracting foreign investment due to improving economic discipline that we can expect after entering into the program. Confidence in the business and economic climate of other multilateral institutions like Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank will also significantly improve thereby impacting foreign investment positively.

PAGE: How do you see the economic growth by the end of this fiscal?

Syed Farhan Karim: We expect economic growth to witness a significant slowdown with GDP growth expected to settle at 3.5 percent for FY19. High interest rates and measures to curtail the overheating of the economy and twin deficits are primarily the reasons for a slowdown in economic activity. However, in a longer run, prospects for our economy are very bright.

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Title Annotation:dialogue with Syed Farhan Karim of Arif Habib Ltd.
Author:Ahmed, Khalil
Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 10, 2019
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