Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stresses early completion of divestment process

Islamabad, February 14, 2016 (PPI-OT): Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar had a meeting with senior officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) here. The Chairman SECP briefed the Minister about various important matters of the capital commodities market and NBFC segment.

The Minister was given an overview of the performance of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), post integration and the status of divestment of shares of PSX. The Minister noticed the post integration improvement in performance and emphasized upon early completion of the divestment process while underscoring the need for improved governance structure for the new stock exchange. He mentioned that the purpose of integration has been the creation of a modern and well governed exchange which has radically improved and well positioned in the global arena.

The SECP Chairman while briefing on the reform agenda for commodities futures market, expressed the regulator’s resolve to develop this segment of the market on priority basis. Pakistan primarily being an agriculture based economy needs a mercantile exchange that plays its due role in ensuring closer linkage with the real economy.

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX) should have national level branch network. The Federal Minister endorsing the SECP vision assured of his full support in revitalizing PMEX and emphasized on the need to have a visionary leadership at the Exchange that can steer it to success and implement required reforms.

The Minister expressed that infrastructure development and long-term financing through the capital market is a critical element to raise GDP growth rate from the existing level to 7%. He assured that the government was fully committed to support the debt market in particular Sukuks. During the meeting, the Minister was also updated on the two days international NBFC Conference held last month, and the recommendation put forth by the participants.

The Minister appreciated SECP’s supportive role in facilitating various reforms and its efforts in creating investor awareness and education. He expressed his pleasure over the increase in number of accounts and the investors’ interest in the capital markets through the mutual fund industry.

He mentioned that the Government’s business friendly policies and economic reform agenda had already put the country’s economy back on track. It was further emphasized that all necessary reforms be put in place to facilitate the market to grow to its full potential so that the benefits can be passed on to the economy and assured the Government’s full support to the SECP for the same.

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