SECP Reaches Out to Market Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) is actively engaging the market stakeholders to mainly assess the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the capital markets.

Chairman SECP held meeting with the Board of Directors of the Central Depository Company of Pakistan. CDC Board updated the SECP on latest developments, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, reforms that CDC has been undertaking, status of different projects while identifying areas for future development.

It was noted that despite the challenges created in the wake of COVID-19, the CDC has been able to ensure smooth and uninterrupted operations, including the shifting of its majority workforce on “work from home” basis which demonstrates the robustness of business continuity arrangements.

Chairman SECP appreciated the measures being taken by CDC in the development of the capital markets and ensured SECP’s full support to CDC while also identifying areas that require more focus and dedication of resources. Chairman also ensured SECP resolve to strongly respond to the impact of COVID-19 challenge and convert it into an opportunity for the growth of capital markets.

Commissioner (SM) also chaired the meeting of the Capital Market Advisory Committee, which has representation from SROs, market experts, banking industry, mutual funds and insurance sector. The Committee reviewed the recent reforms and noted that due to timely response by SECP in addressing practical difficulties and effective and resilient business continuity arrangement of SROs, the stock market continued to operate successfully despite the threats posed due to COVID-19 pandemic and resultant scenario in the country.

It was also noted that the widening of circuit breakers and market halts implemented by SECP in February played a key role in ensuring efficient price discovery and significant trading volumes in the market which is also appreciated by foreign investors.

Committee also discussed the various issues facing the industry and several major areas were identified for the development and growth of capital markets.