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ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Aamir Khan has assured the overseas Pakistani investors that the collective efforts of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX), the National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL), and the Central Depository Company (CDC) would result in a visible increase in the investor base of the capital market in next one year.

Addressing a webinar on “Digital Onboarding of Investors from Overseas Pakistanis” organised by the Pakistan Business Professional Council (PBPC) Abu Dhabi, the SECP chairman stated that, "through sheer commitment and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders; SBP, PSX, NCCPL and CDC, we will be able to record a visible delta in the investor base over the next year". Aamir Khan said that Pakistan’s capital market holds enormous potential, but the reality remains that its investor base has remained stagnant over the last decade.

Through this endeavour, the capital markets are now in a position to play an enhanced role in serving as a conduit to channel the investments of our non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs) towards the regulated economy, in a swift and efficient manner.

A sizeable and diverse investor base is a critical cornerstone for development of any capital market.

Unfortunately, the speed bumps and bottlenecks in the way to achieve these objectives have been ignored for a long time, he maintained.

In keeping with its statutory responsibility to beneficially regulate, the SECP has been focusing on removal of these irritants, and during the last 18 months, significant progress has been made, through simplification of processes at multiple levels.

The SECP chairman stated that the development of the bond market to enable public sector for raising capital for infrastructure demands is the need of the hour.

In order to achieve sustainable market developments, fostering competition and capital formation, it is vital to introduce simplified and business-friendly laws.

Aamir Khan said that the major enabler for this broad-based reform agenda is “digitalisation”.

The pivotal role of innovation and automation in economic development is irrefutable, as it alone holds the key to revolutionizing the way we live, work, and communicate.

The SECP chairman said that the SECP had relentlessly worked to develop a digital ecosystem under the “Leading Efficiency through Automation Prowess” (LEAP) programme, for end-to-end digitalisation of all its internal processes as well as outside interface.

As part of this exercise, a thorough analysis of its existing processes has been undertaken and significant progress has been made in terms of business process re-engineering. Eventually, when these processes are put into place over the next 18-24 months, user experience, and time and cost of doing business will materially improve, Aamir Khan added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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