ISLAMABAD: (Parliament Times) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has launched its annual report for 2015-16 that shows a surplus of income over expenditure of Rs254m, up 25 per cent from a year ago.
The SECP report also highlights legislative and legal reforms achieved in the last fiscal year.
The report mentioned the successful integration of the three stock exchanges of the country into one Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and the formulation of Capital Market Development Plan (2016-18).
During the year, the SECP got 24 pieces of legislation approved either from parliament or in the shape of ordinances.
These include Futures Market Act 2016, SECP Act 2016, Stock Exchanges Act 2015, Corporate Rehabilitation Bill 2016 and amendments to Modarba Companies Ordinance.
At the same time, there are 32 pieces of legislation â€“ both laws and amendments to existing laws â€“ that are currently in progress. â€œThese statutes were drafted in light of the recommendations of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), which sets the standards in the securities markets regulation,â€ SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi said. â€œToday, the SECP is able and determined to match any foreign regulatory regime,â€ he added.
In his message, the SECP chairman said Futures Market Act 2016 will lead to the effective regulation of the futures market and result in a number of economic benefits.
â€œIncreased activity in the futures market of agricultural commodities will benefit the domestic agricultural sector,â€ Mr Hijazi added.
Regarding the capital market, the SECP report said the significant development of the year was the integration of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges into a unified national-level trading platform.
The SECP said the divestment of PSX shares is expected to be completed next financial year. Capital Market Development Plan (2016-18) outlines the road map for the capital market, including the reforms for issuers and capital-market intermediaries, product and market development, and investorsâ€™ awareness and facilitation.
The SECP has said that some of the more important developments that have contributed to the exceptional performance of the stock market are a stable political environment, induction of the PSX into the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, stable exchange rate, improving security and investment projects backed by China.
Regarding the commodities market, the commission said the trading volume on the Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX) showed substantial growth last year. A total of 3.8 million commodity futures contracts with a value of trillion were traded on the PMEX compared to the traded value of Rs701 billion in 2014-15.
The SECP said a proactive approach with regard to the regulation and development of the corporate sector was adopted in 2015-16, as company registrations saw healthy growth.
In order to bring the regulation of the corporate sector on a par with international jurisdictions and implement the best business practices, the SECP said rules and regulations of a number of jurisdictions were studied.
Unnecessary requirements are being abolished and the defects of the existing law are being removed, the SECP said.
The proposed law is particularly encouraging for new entrepreneurs. In order to facilitate corporate growth, a company registration office has been opened in Gilgit-Baltistan while a similar office will be set up in Sialkot.
The other key achievements made by the SECP in 2015-16 include reforms in the insurance sector and the implementation of Urdu. The SECP added that developing a derivatives market was its top priority.