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Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan visits Pakistan Mercantile Exchange, meets Pakistan Stock Exchange Divestment Committee

Karachi, March 02, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Mr Zafar Hijazi, along with his team, visited the Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX) on Wednesday to discuss issues hindering the swift launch of various agricultural commodities at PMEX. He stressed that Pakistan, being an agricultural economy needs to provide its farmers with a platform to better manage price risk associated with commodities, ultimately leading to transparency and price discovery in the agricultural sector.

He appreciated PMEX in successfully launching Red Chilli futures contract, the only agricultural commodity currently being traded at PMEX. Upon a critical review of the details pertaining to Red Chilli contracts, the Chairman stressed upon the need to overcome factors impeding growth in trading volumes of these contracts.

In taking his focus on the commodity exchange further, the Chairman, SECP also emphasized on expediting efforts toward listing of other agricultural commodities at PMEX, particularly cotton deliverable futures contracts. It was agreed during the meeting that PMEX shall work towards not only expanding its outreach but also enhancing its agricultural product base. Later in the day, the SECP Chairman, Zafar Hijazi, along-with the Commissioner (SECP) Mr. Akif Saeed, met with the newly constituted “Divestment Committee” of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX).

During the meeting, the Chairman SECP stressed upon completion of the divestment process within the timeframe of six months as stipulated in the Stock Exchanges (Corporatisation, Demutualization and Integration) Regulations, 2012. He expressed the hope that the Divestment Committee, with the valuable capital market expertise of its members, will be able to secure the desired strategic investment for the Exchange which is crucial for achieving the objectives of integration and growth.

The Chairman SECP communicated that due to the various reforms already implemented and in pipeline at the Pakistani capital market, the country is being seen in a positive light by investors around the world, as also witnessed by Pakistan’s inclusion in the 2016 Annual Market Classification Review for a potential reclassification to MSCI Emerging Markets. He pointed out that it is the right time for PSX to cash in on the opportunity and exhaust all avenues to attract the desired investment and form technological partnerships to take the Exchange forward.

The members of the Divestment Committee expressed their agreement with the Chairman SECP’s views. The participants of the meeting also dispelled recent rumours about slowdown of the market and foreign investors’ selling trend. It was highlighted that the recent downward trend was due to the slowdown experienced in international markets and that the market was recovering owing to the positive sentiment of the investors, both global and local.

For more information, contact:
Shakil Ahmad Chaudhary
Head, Internal and External Communication
Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
NIC Building, 63 Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-9214005 or +92-51-9214009 (Ext. 378)
Fax: +92-51-9206459
Cell: +92-302-8552254
E-mail: shakil.chaudhary@secp.gov.pk
Website: www.secp.gov.pk

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