ISLAMABAD: The ranking of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has risen by five points in the Financial Development Index 2012, unveiled by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.
The SECP secured 37th position out of 62 securities regulators globally, whereas China stood at 38th place in the category of regulation of securities and exchanges, says a press release issued by the commission on Thursday.
The SECP said improvement in the ranking came following various structural and organisational reforms undertaken by the current management.
Recent initiatives include demutualisation of stock exchanges, capital market investor education and awareness programme, implementation of the concept of e-IPO, launch of new takaful rules and introduction of standard operating procedures in the form of five manuals. These manuals cover all aspects of enforcement functions of the SECP.
The commission said it also introduced new future contracts at the Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited in sugar, wheat, crude oil, silver and gold that would meet hedging requirements of various groups of investors in the newly developed commodities market.
The Corporate Law Review Commission was revived and a reform committee was constituted to give recommendations for promotion and growth of a sustainable non-banking financial sector. In addition to these, the Code of Corporate Governance 2012 was introduced, revising the existing requirements and making it more in line with international best practices. A similar code for state-owned enterprises is being finalised.
Moreover, the capital market investor education and awareness programme was launched in July this year. It is aimed at making people aware of various financial products and understand their rights and responsibilities to enable them to make informed investment decisions.
In May, SECP Chairman Muhammad Ali was elected to the executive board of the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO). Set up in 1983, IOSCO is headquartered in Madrid with 182 members.
The World Economic Forum in its report finds as economies develop, they increase their demand for the services provided by financial markets relative to those provided by banks, so that financial markets become comparatively more important.
It suggests that stock markets should encourage long-term growth by promoting specialisation, acquiring and disseminating information, and mobilising savings efficiently to promote investment.
Recently, the Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13), issued by the World Economic Forum, also appreciated the performance of SECP as it was ranked 55th compared to 70th place in 2011-12.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2012.
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