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January 23, 2019

London Stock Exchange Group Shows Interest in Pakistan Bonds

London – London Stock Exchange Group has shown interest in listing Pakistan’s bonds, a year after the South Asian country made a successful comeback to the international debt market.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief of Staff and Head of International Development at the London-based LSEG, expressed his group’s interest in collaborating with Pakistan on the issuance of bonds in the next fiscal year during a meeting with Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in London , says a Pakistan government official statement issued on April 15.

Rathi particularly “expressed interest in Sukuk bonds and offered London Stock Exchange for listing of future bonds”, according to the statement.

After the gap of nearly seven years, Pakistan returned to the international bond market in April, 2014 through the successful sale of $2 billion bonds, nearly two-third of which was bought by U.S.-based investors. Pakistan sold $1 billion through 5-year Euro Bond at 7.25 percent interest rate and another 1$ billion through 10-year bonds at 8.25 percent. The country has also sold Islamic bonds.

LSEG is a diversified international exchange group that operates a broad range of international equity, bond and derivatives markets, including London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, MTS, Europe’s leading fixed income market and the pan-European equities platfor, Turquoise, according to its official website.

Dar met several financial groups in London and hinted at the possibility of issuing more international bonds. “Pakistan would continue its presence in the international market in the next fiscal year”, which begins July 1, a separate government statement quoted him as saying.

Pakistan’s government last week approved the sale of its remaining 609 million share in HBL bank for $1.02 billion to local and foreign buyers. It had received offers of $1.6 billion during three days of book-building at New York, London, Dubai and Singapore.

Dar stopped in London on his way to spring meetings with IMF and the World Bank in Washington. IMF is due to hold 7th review of Pakistan loan in the first week of May.

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