Karachi: Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), for mutual cooperation and collaboration to facilitate access to equity financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Mr. Saeed Ahmed Taj, President of GCCI, and Mr. Mohammad Abdullah, Head of Special Projects of PSX, signed the MoU.
Pakistan Stock Exchange is finalizing the launch of its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Board – a platform for SMEs to raise equity capital to fund their growth and expansion needs. A public company with post issue paid up capital of not less than Rs. 25 million and not more than Rs. 200 million is eligible to get listed on the SME Board. To promote the SME sector and to encourage SMEs to get listed on the SME Board, PSX has endeavored to make the listing procedure simple and easy. To reduce the listing cost, initial listing fees of the Exchange have been capped at Rs. 50,000/-.
Before the MoU was signed, an Awareness Session to promote the SME Board was held. The Awareness Session was attended by CEO of SMEs, several distinguished businessmen based in Gujranwla, and members of the Executive Committee of GCCI. The participants of the Awareness Session expressed a keen interest in getting listed on the SME Board to raise equity capital. Moreover, the participants also felt that the SME Board would be beneficial for the cottage industry of Gujranwala.
On the basis of the MoU signed, PSX and GCCI would collaborate to generate awareness amongst SMEs of the benefits of listing which include the creation of a proper corporate structure within the SME for long term business sustainability, improved branding, greater credibility with buyers and suppliers, and managing and growing family wealth in a manner that avoids conflict within families. PSX and GCCI would conduct joint awareness sessions, workshops and trainings for SMEs to promote equity listings on the SME Board.
At the same time, a number of steps have been taken by PSX to protect and safeguard the investors. A capital lock-in period has been defined for sponsor’s shareholding, i.e. the sponsors would have to retain their entire shareholding in the listed SME for one year and, for the next two years, they would have to retain at least 25% of the paid up capital of the SME. The SME would have to prepare periodic financial statements and would have them audited by a QCR rated chartered accountant firm. The SME would have to depict the true and fair position of their business to investors.
The team designated by PSX to promote mutual collaboration include Mr. Sarmad Hussain, Regional Head Lahore, Mr. Asghar Abbas Naqvi, Regional Head Islamabad, Mr. Muhammad Abdullah, Head of Special Projects, Ms. Asmaa Saleem Malik, Manager Operations, and Mr. Imran Lakhani, Officer Special Project