ISLAMABAD: “There is a strong need to strengthen the regulatory environment in Pakistan, for the development of a modern corporate sector,” Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Muhammad Ali has said. He was addressing the participants of a workshop on “Economic Reporting on Financial Development Index”, organised by the SECP here on Thursday.
Ali said that the SECP has been establishing high standards of governance across the capital market to generate greater investor confidence.
He said that the government’s attitude in the past has been to not allow small and medium sized companies and risky ventures, which has resulted in accumulation of assets with banks and national savings schemes. He pointed out that in Pakistan, the banking sector and national savings schemes hold 90% of total financial sector assets. “Oftentimes, entrepreneurs are not entertained by our banking-centric financial system and it is not possible to raise money from other sources,” he said.
He said that in a bid to enhance access to finance and develop a debt capital market, the SECP has introduced various new concepts like small and medium enterprise exchanges, pension schemes, micro-insurance for crops and livestock, and commodity trading facility to mutual funds.
Other areas where the SECP has been focusing are access to capital, widening of product portfolio in stock exchanges, good governance and reforms, and improving the standards of human resources of capital markets.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2012.