Brokers demand Rs20bn fund to revive stock market

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KARACHI: A market support fund of Rs20 billion should be set up under the management of National Investment Trust (NIT) to revive the stock market, stakeholders told Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday.

Directors of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), senior brokers and representatives of mutual funds held a meeting with the premier at the Governor House to discuss the issues confronting the equity market.

Mr Abbasi directed the authorities concerned to set up a committee, under the chairmanship of Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair, which should forward the demands of market participants to the prime minister for review.

The participants explained to the prime minister that a similar support fund was also set up during the 2008 stock meltdown under the aegis of NIT. The asset manager was provided with a bank guarantee of Rs20bn by the government to raise funds from state-owned financial institutions.

Mutual funds, including NIT, are currently sitting on piles of cash. Arif Habib, former chairman of the stock exchange, praised the premier for patiently listening to the woes of market representatives.

“We explained to the prime minister that the (2008) support fund worth Rs17bn was later liquidated on market stability in 2014. It fetched the government Rs31bn. It brought a windfall of Rs14bn for the government and helped shore up revenues for the budget,” he said.

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