I highly appreciate the initiative of your newspaper to publish a special supplement in support of SECP's launch of the investor education portal.
In the backdrop of the SECP's role in investor protection and education, avery low savings rates in Pakistan,and a lack of investor knowledge about investment options open to them, the launch of the "JamaPunji" investor education web portal will go a long way towards discharging SECP's regulatory responsibility for the protection of investors under the SECP Act, 1997 and the IOSCO principles of securities regulation.
Poor financial literacy is the primaryreason for our financial sector's overdependence on the banking sector for its capital needs.Pakistan has a large middle class of about 35-40 million, yet the number of retail portfolio investors is estimated by market professionals to be only 325,000.The SECP is actively working on the non-bank financial sector and has various reform measures in process to create alternate sources of new capital through innovative investment products.
Our mutual fundsrepresent 70% of the non-bank financial sector, and are an effective investment vehicle for increasing investorbase. To encourage sustainable growth in the mutual fund sector and protect investors, the SECP recently approved various amendments to the NBFCs regulationsthat bring about qualitative changes in asset management companies practices concerning access by retail investors, together with better governance of the AMCs.
The SECP is keen on introducing reforms aimed at improving outreach and development of capital market and non-bank finance sector. To this end, the SECP is also looking for support from the Government and the market participants, to help inculcate savings habits in the general public.
The SECP realizes that informed investors are protected investors and with the same in mind, we are imparting investment education through all means possible, including employing digital means, such as the web portal, SMS and social media. I am confident that the JamaPunji web portal, with its comprehensive coverage of investment topics, supported by an interactive environment and exclusive features that include risk profiler, scam meter, investment checklists, quizzes, games, calculator, stock trading simulator etc will help educate Pakistan's future investors. We at the SECP are very excited about our investor education web portal and its future potential, and welcome you to visitus by simply typing JamaPunji .pk.