Uncertainty Remains over Pakistan Stock Exchanges

SAN MATEO (01/01/2000) - Rumors that there is year-2000 trouble in at least one of Pakistan's stock markets remain unsubstantiated.

The rumors seem to have been initiated when John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Y2K Conversion, said his team is keeping an eye on the Pakistani exchanges.

All three of Pakistan's markets -- the Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad exchanges -- remain closed for the weekend, but according to published reports, the Karachi stock exchange successfully completed a mock trading session, and Pakistani officials insist all three exchanges are ready to go. But, reports say, the smaller Islamabad exchange has still not conducted any tests.

Koskinen said there has been some concern about the year-2000 readiness of the Islamabad exchange because it the smallest of the three and lagged behind the other two in preparations.

"The Islamabad stock market is one of those stories that is very hard to actually track down or confirm," said Koskinen. "We may not know for sure [about the Islamabad exchange] until Monday or Tuesday when the markets open again."

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