SECP slashing down regulatory web to boost businesses, stocks

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Sep 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Securities & Exchange Commission (SECP) aims to further cut down the regulatory web and the cost of doing business, and boost competition by removing barriers to entry for sustainable growth in the corporate sector and capital markets, its top official said on Wednesday.

“Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, ease of doing business and improving internal governance of the regulator were the overriding thoughts at the start of my journey,” said Aamir Khan, Chairman Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan during a session at Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI).

“The SECP is working towards improving the business climate for registered entities and undertaking measures to promote digitalisation and inculcation of technology in the corporate sector.”

Khan said the regulator was focused on financial inclusion, market development, and transparent enforcement of policies are the main objectives of the apex corporate sector regulator in terms of its regulatory role as well as a supporting force for the industry.

SECP chairman also highlighted some of the notable measures taken by the regulator towards the achievement of all these digitization goals, including the launch of Digital Certified True Copies (CTCs), an online banking portal, Secured Transaction Registry, the establishment of a business centre, amendments in the Companies Act, 2017, and launch of Whatsapp and WeChat services.

“As a result of SECP’s efforts, during the fiscal year 2021-22, over 99 percent of companies were incorporated online,” he added.

In terms of measures for improving liquidity and product development, he mentioned the introduction of seven exchange-traded funds (ETFs), issuance of over 1,000 electronic warehouse receipts (EWRs), as well as the launch of real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Khan also spoke about the new regulations issued by SECP including guidelines for digital distribution and Robo Advisory of mutual funds, a regulatory framework enabling micro and digital-only insurers and asset management companies (AMCs), and Draft Asset Fractionalisation Regulations.

Khan also detailed the OIC investors about the outcomes and the transformation toward a function-based regulator from a sector-based regulator.

He said the formation of dedicated supervision and adjudication divisions supported by a strengthened litigation department, risk-based supervision, the creation of a centralised licensing department, and the digitalisation of functions like promotion, appraisal, loan management, and payroll were some of the key measures introduced by the SECP.

He added that SECP’s Graduate Trainee Program “HAWKS” included 50 percent female hiring among 25 trainees hired in the first batch and 31 trainees hired in the second batch.

According to a statement, the SECP head assured the OICCI officials of his complete support in resolving all their issues and promised to consider their suggestions. Khan also appreciated the compliance culture of the OICCI members.