Karachi - The Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden visited the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Wednesday where she opened the market with the bell ceremony.

Speaking with the press afterwards Ms. Cruden expressed her delight at the stellar performance of the Pakistan stock market during the last few years. She said that Canada and Pakistan had over 60 years of friendly relations and Canada had consistently supported Pakistan in its development efforts by providing expertise and financing of over $1.0 billion.

Canadian values of promoting democracy, good governance and human rights were cornerstones of further strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

The Commissioner said Pakistan had tremendous potential for socio-economic growth with multifarious business opportunities in a wide spectrum of industries and economic sectors. She would be working studiously to explore areas of cooperation between both public and private sectors of Pakistan and Canada.

Having arrived in Pakistan in January of this year Ms. Cruden said she was visiting all parts of the country from Gilgit-Baltistan to Quetta, Lahore, Hyderabad and now Karachi. She was heartened by the friendly welcome accorded to her and felt that despite challenges, the people of Pakistan were resilient, full of energy and hope for a better future. Nadeem Naqvi, Managing Director, KSE, while giving a presentation to the Canadian High Commissioner regarding the dynamics of Pakistan Capital Market, highlighted the performance of stock market and the increasing role of foreign institutional portfolio investors whose holdings have now crossed 30pc of the free float of listed companies’ shares.

 He outlined the eco-system of the capital market and the central role of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in regulation of the capital market and the securities industry.  

The MD highlighted the strong financial performance of companies listed at KSE, including earnings growth of nearly 20pc p.a. over the last few years and RoE of 19-22pc - one of the highest in Asia.

The Canadian High Commissioner appreciated the briefing by KSE on the state of the Capital Market and the economy.

She said that her efforts will be to enhance two-way trade and investment between Canada and Pakistan and in this regard would seek KSE’s views on specific sectors where Canadian and Pakistani business can actualise potential for joint-ventures and investment relationships, including healthcare & pharmacies, education related services, alternative energy – e.g. solar & wind, urban waste management and urban transit systems where Canada has vast experience.

Concluding the discussion, Ms. Cruden encouraged KSE to organise an investment road show in Canada both for financial sector and non-financial sector businesses and investors.