Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) on Friday, 28th April 2017, for mutual cooperation and collaboration to facilitate access to equity financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Mr. Javed Iqbal Khattak, General Manager of SMEDA, and Mr. Nadeem Naqvi, Managing Director of PSX, signed the MoU. Mr. Abid Ali Habib, Member of the Board of PSX and Mr. Raja Hassanien Javed, Provincial Chief of SMEDA (Punjab) were also present on the occasion. In the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Khalid Iqbal Malik, President ICCI signed the MoU while Mr. Khalid Malik, SVP, and Mr. Tahir Ayub, VC, ICCI were also present.
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 listing cost, listing fees of the Exchange have been capped at Rs. 50,000/-.
During the MoU signing ceremony both SMEDA and PSX representatives agreed that there is a dire need to promote small and medium businesses’ growth in Pakistan as these account for 80% percent of non- agricultural labour force while their ability to access bank financing is usually very limited, primarily due to high collateral requirements. A core objective of the MoU is to generate awareness amongst SME’s regarding the benefits of listing in terms of not just obtaining financing for growth but also to create proper corporate structure for long term business sustainability, improved branding, have greater credibility with buyers and suppliers and importantly, managing and growing family wealth in a manner that avoids conflict within families.
At the same time, to protect investors, a number of steps have been taken by PSX. For the SME Board there will be a lock-in period on the shares of the sponsors, i.e. sponsors would have to retain their entire shareholding in the listed SME for one year and, for the next two years, 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 have them audited by a QCR rated chartered accountant firm and conform to a simplified corporate governance requirements.
By signing the MoUs, PSX agreed with SMEDA and ICCI to conduct joint awareness sessions, workshops and trainings for SMEs to promote equity listings on the SME Board of PSX. For SMEs listed on PSX or in the process of listing at PSX, SMEDA will offer following:
• Assist SMEs in development of their Business Plan
• Provide SMEDA’s accounting software which can serve to help SMEs in preparing their accounts and financial statements
• Provide guidance w.r.t legal and regulatory matters like registration of SME at SECP as Public Limited Company.
The team designated by PSX to promote mutual collaboration include Mr. Haroon Askari, DMD PSX, Mr. Asghar Abbas Naqvi, Regional Head Islamabad, Mr. Sarmad Hussain, Regional Head Lahore, Mr. Muhammad Abdullah, Head of Special Projects, Ms. Asmaa Saleem Malik, Manager Operations, and Mr. Imran Lakhani, Officer Special Projects.