KARACHI –  Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar Hijazi visited the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) on Friday and met members of the Board of Directors of PSX including representative of the Chinese consortium.

On the occasion, the SECP chairman was accompanied by senior officers of the SECP. During meeting with the PSX board, the SECP chairman welcomed the incoming PSX board and appreciated contribution of the outgoing directors. Hijazi desired that the PSX board should conform to highest governance standards, appointment of independent directors should be expedited and that PSX management should be strong, professional and independent.

He stated that PSX must focus on investor protection and risk management and for the same, the Exchange should assume the role of a full-fledged self-regulatory organisation in line with best practices, while ensuring segregation of regulatory and commercial functions.

He reiterated that in line with SECP’s policy of zero tolerance towards market manipulation and unfair trade practices, PSX must focus on strong enforcement, compliance and risk management. He mentioned SECP’s various recent reforms to improve risk management and hinted at strict action against anyone involved in illegal activities. In particular, he pointed out the recent constitution of a committee to review existing models of financing by brokers in light of best practices and local requirements whose report is expected shortly, and expected that the PSX board would facilitate implementation of the committee’s recommendations.

He further expressed hope that the Chinese consortium would play a pivotal role by ensuring a commercially driven strategy and sharing its experiences with regards to the same. A detailed three-year business plan is anticipated from PSX which should propose concrete measures for development and activation of the equity, debt, derivatives, SME and commodities markets, along-with practical initiatives for expanding market outreach and investor base.

The PSX board appreciated the SECP’s efforts for creation of a fair, transparent and modern capital market; in particular the recent reforms carried out in consultation with the stakeholders, and assured the SECP of its commitment towards fulfillment of the SECP’s expectations towards PSX.