The impending merger of all stock exchanges into a single company called the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) may be the right move for individual and institutional investors as well as brokers, but for staff of the Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE) this amalgamation is proving to be a nightmare.
Uncertainty is rampant among 120 employees of the LSE, including its managing director, as they fear about the fate of their careers.
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Though staff of the Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) is facing a similar predicament, its management has found a solution by doling out golden handshake schemes, dispelling worries of the employees by offering two salaries per year for their remaining employment period.
The general perception among LSE employees is that they are going to lose their jobs as soon as the merger takes place.
Though the management is trying to pacify the staff by saying they will be adjusted in LSE Financial Services Limited - a venture that will provide consultancy services after the merger, but the staff has expressed doubts about the offer.
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“Many employees in the LSE have been working for decades and they have more knowledge than other officials in the bourse, however, they now face anxiety over their future as they know a job in this market is difficult,” said a senior official of the LSE.
“We know that the PSE will only accommodate the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), as per law the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is bound to adjust staff of the three bourses in the PSE, but this is actually not happening,” he said.
“The ISE staff has got golden handshakes, whereas our only hope is to get accommodated in the LSE Financial Services, which we know cannot bear the salary expense and cannot assign us jobs in which we have expertise.”
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As per rules of the SECP, as soon as the merger takes place, the staff of all three exchanges will automatically be placed in the PSE.
LSE Managing Director Aftab Ahmad said the management was leaving no stone unturned to win the best deal for the LSE employees in the wake of the merger. “We are discussing options with the SECP and things will be finalised soon.”
The SECP is also hinting that the employees most affected by the amalgamation would be retained by the existing bourses.
According to the SECP spokesperson, “the merger scheme also caters to the needs of employees of exchanges being closed. Some of the LSE and ISE officials associated with the core business operation will be inducted into the PSE as well as into the SECP.”
He further said “in this regard, the SECP has advertised positions in national dailies. However, most of the LSE employees, associated with non-core businesses, will be retained by the surviving entity, whereas a severance package will be offered to the remaining employees.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.
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