SECP vows to press on with fight against manipulators

Says the regulator will not give in to pressure from powerful brokers.


Our Correspondent April 11, 2013
SECP’s inspectors were currently conducting onsite inspection at Jahangir Siddiqui & Company’s offices and a final report was expected soon. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:


In a hurriedly called press conference on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) spokesman Imran Ghaznavi said the apex regulator of the country’s corporate sector would continue to take corrective measures to eliminate market manipulation without bowing to the pressure of the “powerful brokerage mafia.”


“The SECP has been pressured not to take action against certain brokers,” Ghaznavi told journalists, adding there was a campaign to malign the SECP and its chairman for reining in brokerage houses that were involved in the manipulation of securities market. However, he did not say who was leading the campaign.

In the recent past, the SECP initiated action against various financial institutions – including BMA Capital, JS Group, Dawood Capital Management, Pak-Qatar Family Takaful, etc – on v arious charges of fraud in the securities market and market manipulation in addition to the finalisation of longstanding proposed prosecution against brokers and some large business groups.

“There have been consistent attempts to pressurise the senior management of the SECP into not taking action (against errant brokerage houses). The situation has intensified since the announcement on December 14, 2012 of the initiative by the SECP chairman to conduct 100% onsite inspection of all brokerage houses,” Ghaznavi said.

“Litigation attempting to derail the efforts of the SECP has also increased. Every effort is being made to halt enquiries and investigations and impending prosecution,” he added.

He said a “major media group” was exerting pressure on the SECP to prevent it from initiating prosecution against a “large group in the regulated sector of the SECP,” which has been involved in manipulation amounting to millions of rupees.

In response to a question about the ongoing investigation into the brawl at the annual general meeting of Jahangir Siddiqui & Company, Ghaznavi said SECP’s inspectors were currently conducting onsite inspection at the investment bank’s offices and a final report was expected soon.

Without naming the newspaper, Ghaznavi called a recently published story about the SECP chairman’s alleged conflict of interest ‘baseless propaganda’. The story claims that SECP Chairman Muhammad Ali had undisclosed business with those regulated by the SECP even after he became the top regulator of the corporate sector.

“In 2005, Ali was a 15% stakeholder in RI Enterprises, a partnership firm, which he sold on April 4, 2006, through an agreement for sale. Furthermore, he gave power of attorney to the buyer, specifically substituting him as a partner in his place, and authorising him to do all acts necessary to give effect to the transfer of his interest in the partnership since he was leaving the country at that time,” he said, adding the SECP chairman severed all ties with the partnership in April 2006.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2013.

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COMMENTS (2)

TRUTHSeeker | 8 years ago | Reply Who can deny tat SECP is in AKD's pocket?
tanvir | 8 years ago | Reply

everyone knows that brokers control the SECP, no matter how many smoke screens they try to put up.

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