KARACHI Pakistan Stock Exchange Ltd .KA has received interest from international companies including the Shanghai Stock Exchange .SSEA to buy a stake, the head of the Pakistani bourse said on Monday.
The Pakistani bourse has been searching for a strategic investor and in July invited companies to show interest in buying a stake of up to 40 percent.
"By late August, early September expressions of interest were received, including from Shanghai Stock Exchange," Nadeem Naqvi, Managing Director of Pakistan Stock Exchange, told Reuters by telephone.
Shanghai Stock Exchange did not respond to a request for comment.
Naqvi said all interested parties have to submit sealed bids by Oct. 21. "Final outcome will be known by early November," he added.
Pakistani shares are trading at an all-time high, helped by an improving economy. The bourse's market capitalization from 558 listed companies is $77 billion.
In recent years the main Pakistan bourses were demutualised to weaken the influence of stockbrokers and deepen the investor base. The demutualisation plan required the bourse to find a strategic investor to buy a stake of 15 percent to 40 percent.
Pakistani officials said the investor would have to buy at least 15 percent but no higher than 40 percent. If the sale involves a stake of anything in between, the bourse would have to sell the balance to other institutions to meet the 40 percent cap.
Japan's Nikkei newspaper first reported the interest of Shanghai Stock Exchange late on Sunday.
(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Christopher Cushing)