December 24, 2020: The Securities and Exchange commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued its annual report for financial year 2019-20, detailing measures that the organization has taken to promote capital formation in capital market, improve access to finance to SMEs, expand financial inclusion, provide ease of doing business and leverage technological advances to bring efficiency and transparency in its working.
The Chairman SECP Aamir Khan in his message published in the report, stated that during the outgoing fiscal, SECP’s overriding focus remained on three specific areas, firstly on creating an enabling regulatory environment for the business community, attract investment and spur economic growth by simplifying the regulatory regime. Secondly expanding market outreach and leveraging technology to bring about efficiency and lastly to balance effective enforcement with an efficient regulatory environment.
Some of noteworthy regulatory reforms implemented during this fiscal include simplification of IPO regulations, establishment of Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) at PSX, introducing corporate governance regime based on comply or explain approach, simplification of further issue of capital regulations, introduction of categorization of brokers, revamping of margin finance product and introduction of simplified ‘Sahulat Account’ for low risk investors. The SECP has launched a digital Secured Transaction Registry to facilitate small businesses / farmers to access bank finance without having to mortgage their homes or land; over 85,000 charges have been registered since April 2020, as a result, placing Pakistan in one of only 60 countries in the world that have such a registry, backed by necessary legal framework.
Institutional strengthening through function-based restructuring in a phased manner, replacement of existing e-services with a modern business registry, development of alternate distribution channels, provide farmers, the opportunity to sell their produce by way of an electronic warehouse receipts on a recognized exchange and encourage growth companies and SMEs to raise capital through the capital markets are priority areas for the next financial year. Here is the link to the annual report.