KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate technological entrepreneurship and provide a nurturing ecosystem for the growth of technology startups in the country.
During the ceremony, PSX Managing Director Nadeem Naqvi and PITB Chairman Umar Saif spoke about how the agreement aims to alter and improve the current financial outlook for prospective Pakistani startups.
The PSX managing director said the partnership would indeed serve as an important stepping stone for budding entrepreneurs who were looking to raise local investment for their initiatives. “It would not only encourage employment growth, but also increase the technological and economic power of the country,” he said.
He added that the stock exchange was planning to launch PSX Private Market in the near future after receiving approval of PSX Board of Directors and Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). “This would be a web-based platform designed to bring startups and investors together,” he said.
According to Naqvi, the private market would be the third tier capital raising platform offered by the PSX, with the second tier being PSX SME Board and the first being PSX Main Board.
“The objective of the private market would be to enhance access to finance for startups by providing them an online platform where they could sign up and register themselves,” he said. “Under the MoU, PITB would share their database of registered startups with the PSX, so that they could be encouraged to sign up on the online PSX Private Market.”
Meanwhile, Saif said the PITB will collaborate with the PSX to promote the growth of startups in Pakistan. “The parties – startups and investors – might coordinate for the exploration of ways to initiate common business support programmes,” he said. “They might consider organising joint events, including conferences and workshops with representation from both parties in promoting entrepreneurship.”
The PITB chairman added that another important highlight of the MoU was that both organisations would jointly approach relevant regulatory bodies to advocate the case of startups and would propose a framework to assist startups in raising equity financing by introducing favourable listing terms particularly in terms of paid-up capital.