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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Privatisation fuels Pakistan stock market
Pakistani stock brokers
Pakistan's market has rise 55% since this year
Pakistani stocks have hit a 28-month high after the government announced the sale of more state-owned companies as part of its aggressive privatisation programme.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100 share index closed up 23.7 points, or 1.22% at 1,974.5, its highest level since April 2000.

"There was some good news on the privatisation front. Investors are optimistic about the privatisation programme," said Asif Janmohammad, a broker at Taurus Securities.

"Apart from that, there are also expectations of good earnings," he said.

The privatisation programme stalled after 11 September but government officials say it is now back on track.

Big sales

On Thursday, Pakistan's Committee on Privatisation approved a number of high profile privatisations.

A 51% stake in United Bank, the country's fourth largest bank, will be offered again along with another 5% of the National Bank of Pakistan - 10% of NBP was sold in April.

The committee also authorised the sale of 26% of Pakistan Oil Fields and added the Peshawar Electric Supply Company to the government's privatisation list.

The government has already approved the sale of state energy, banking, agriculture, railway and telecoms firms.

The KSE is one of Asia's smallest markets with a capitalisation of $7.6bn (4.9bn).

It has been one of the best performing exchanges in the region this year, gaining more than 55%.

See also:

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