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DIFX eyes Karachi Stock Exchange

State-run Borse Dubai said yesterday it would be interested in acquiring a stake in the Karachi Stock Exchange if and when members of Pakistan's biggest bourse agree to turn it into a company.
Interest in the South Asian exchange "would be part of the general interest for Borse Dubai", Borse Dubai Chairman Essa Kazem told Reuters by telephone.

Borse Dubai, which owns two exchanges in the Gulf Arab emirate, is bidding to take over Nordic exchange operator OMX
for $4 billion - trumping an offer from Nasdaq - as part of a strategy to expand in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.
"We are open to expansion and are looking at any other opportunities," Kazem said, declining to be more specific.

He would not comment on a report in The Daily Telegraph yesterday that the company may buy Nasdaq shares in the London Stock Exchange and then bid jointly with the US company for OMX. Pakistan's chief securities regulator, Razi-ur-Rahman Khan, told Reuters last month that OMX and a Dubai exchange were among parties expressing an interest in the Karachi bourse.

He did not identify the Dubai exchange. Borse Dubai owns Dubai Financial Market Co and the Dubai International Financial Exchange, which operates according to international regulatory standards.

The KSE said in June it planned to list shares by year-end under a plan requiring members to sell more than half their holding. The exchange may sell more than 10 percent of its stock, Khan said.

"They still have to go through the demutualisation and valuation process, so the structure is not there yet," Kazem said.

Demutualisation separates trading rights from ownership. Deutsche Bank is valuing the exchange. via Bahrain Tribune



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