ISLAMABAD – With the integration of the Karachi Stock Exchange, Islamabad Stock Exchange and Lahore Stock Exchange, the Pakistan Stock Exchange was formed here in Islamabad on Thursday.
Addressing the ceremony, Federal Minister for Finance and Econmic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar said the government – in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) – was endeavouring to make Pakistan’s financial and capital market one of the best in the world.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to create a strong, vibrant and competitive financial and capital market that can prove as a basic building block for a strong economy. He expressed his resolve to improve the outlook of the country’s capital market to attract investment and improve the standard of living of the common man.
Terming the scheme of integration among stock exchanges a landmark achievement, Senator Dar said that formation of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) was a win-win for all and “it would go a long way towards sustainable development of our capital markets, in the best interest of all stakeholders and Pakistan”.
He said that it was a satisfying day for him that the task of demutualisation and integration of stock exchanges – which could not be achieved in last 15 years – was being accomplished now. He said that the full benefits of this exercise required completing the process of divestment of shares. He assured full support of the government to achieve divestment of the PSE shares.
Among other areas, Ishaq Dar said, the government was committed to promoting standards of excellence for the corporate sector and capital market. While appreciating the robust reforms agenda followed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the finance minister asked the SECP to implement a strong enforcement and compliance regime and show zero tolerance for any market manipulation, inside trading, misconduct and abuse.
“The efforts of the government and the regulators are bearing fruit and Pakistan has started doing really well. PSE is going to play a major role in attracting foreign investment,” he added. He said that his financial team would work hard to raise Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves to the mark of $21 billion by end of 2015.
Ishaq Dar also appreciated the SECP’s efforts for getting Pakistan’s Index reclassified in upcoming Annual Market Classification Review of MSCI. He expected that Pakistan’s capital market would soon be reclassified an MSCI emerging market. He also acknowledged the SECP for achieving 62 per cent compliance with standards of the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO) assessments.
Dar said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has achieved majority of the goals of its manifesto pertaining to economic revival, macro-economic stability and social protection.