KARACHI: Following the apparent violation and non-compliance of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) regulations, KSE Chief Regulatory Office Shafqat Ali has suspended the operation of all trading terminals of ACE Securities, a Karachi-based brokerage, until further notice.

The Banker Pakistan reported on April 25 that ACE Securities was not honouring its investors’ requests for cash withdrawals and share transfers following the alleged escape of its owners from the country.

The KSE had written a letter to ACE Securities on April 23 whereby it asked its management to respond to the investors’ complaints before the opening of the regular share market on April 27. But the brokerage house failed to get back to the exchange in time, prompting the latter to suspend the operation of ACE Securities’ trading terminals with immediate effect.

Sources say ACE Securities has at least 2,000 subaccounts, which means as many investors work through the brokerage house’s trading facility. ACE Securities Chairman Iqbal Ismail and CEO Haroon Iqbal have reportedly gone out of the country after telling their investors that they will make cash payments following the sale of their personal property in Karachi, the sources add.

“ACE Securities has been advised to ensure compliance with the KSE regulations immediately, failing which, we reserve our right to place its non-compliance matter before the KSE board for further disciplinary action,” Ali stated in his notice of the suspension of ACE Securities’ trading terminals.

The amount for which investors had lodged complaints with the frontline regulator until last week was in the vicinity of Rs40 million, according to KSE Managing Director Nadeem Naqvi.

Despite repeated attempts for two successive days, no one picked up any of the 12 telephone lines listed on the brokerage house’s official website during office hours.

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