Pakistan is deep in the hearts of Moroccans: Karmoune

KARACHI: The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, Mohamed Karmoune, along with Ishtiaq Baig, Hon. Consul General and Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig visited the Pakistan Stock Exchange to open the PSX trading session with the gong ceremony, here Monday, says a Press release.
Acting Managing Director Rafique Umer, along with other Board Members, Ahmed Chinoy, Muhammad Ashraf Bawany, Mohammad Salahuddin Manzoor and senior management of PSX welcomed and received the distinguished guests and led them to the Auditorium for the ceremony.
Welcoming the guests, the PSX team apprised Mohamed Karmoune and his team about the role of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in developing the capital market and the macro-economic activities impact on the Capital Market.
Opening the trading day with the gong ceremony, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco thanked the PSX Board and management for inviting him for the ceremony. Speaking to the media, the H.E. said that “Pakistan is deep in the hearts of Moroccans”. While talking about Morocco-Pakistan relations, he stated that these have traditionally been strong and cordial.
Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig highlighted that Pakistan’s largest phosphoric production import is coming from Morocco, which is an integral part of agriculture & fertilizers.
After holding the gong ceremony, discussions took place between the PSX team and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco & his associates to discuss business opportunities and potential for bilateral trade. In the meeting, matters relating to Pakistan’s economy, Investment environment and Capital market were discussed.
Rafique Umer provided an overview of the PSX history since its establishment followed by integration of three stock exchanges to bring a single stock exchange of the country, demutualization, strategic investment of the Chinese consortium and listing of the Exchange.
Ashraf Bawany expanded upon the shareholding structure of PSX, comprising of Chinese consortium, local shareholders including the individuals and foreign investors.
Ahmed Chinoy explained the distinguished guests that PSX currently has 544 listed companies with a market cap of Rs 6.34 trillion. On a query, he said that the consequence of increased discount rate will hamper market activity in a short run, however, considering lowest rates of securities, capital gains potential is the advantage that lures investors towards PSX. Foreign portfolio managers and investors are taking keen interest in the market at this point since the market is trading at highly attractive multiples. On the question of development plans of PSX, the honorable guests were informed that a number of initiatives are in process of launch and PSX is embarking to acquire state of the art new Trading & Surveillance system.
Mohamed Karmoune showed interest in knowing the presence of Shariah based companies at PSX, considering growing Islamic Banking Industry in Morocco. The Managing Director informed that Meezan Bank is the prioneer in Islamic Banking and with their collaboration, PSX has introduced 2 indices focussing on the Shariah compliant companies, i.e. KMI 30 and KMI – All, which have 30 and 225 listed companies respectively. Investors looking for Shariah compliant investments have the option to invest in Shariah approved companies’ shares, he added.
The members of PSX Board and management thanked the Ambassador and his team for their visit to the Exchange. Umer suggested the Ambassador use his good office for the possibility of execution of MoU between their country’s only Stock Exchange, Casablanca Stock Exchange and PSX for sharing of information and assist each other in the areas of mutual interest, to which he kindly agreed. Rafique Umer hoped that further economic cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and Pakistan will lead to better prospects for the development and progress of Pakistan’s economy while providing for trade benefits and further cooperation for the Kingdom.
The Moroccan Ambassador confirmed that both the countries have cooperated significantly in the past and shall continue to widely expand their relations for the bilateral trade in different areas.

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