ISLAMABAD, January 11, 2016: The Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar formally inaugurated the unified stock exchange of the country - Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) in a ceremony held here in Islamabad. The ceremony was attended by high-level foreign diplomats including Chinese, Canadian, Italian and Turkish delegates, as well as senior parliamentarians and prominent members of the brokerage, media and lawyer fraternity.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister communicated his pleasure at the launch of PSX and termed it a historic event for Pakistan and its capital market. He congratulated all stakeholders of the capital market for successful completion of the initiative. In particular, he lauded the efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) towards this landmark achievement. The Minister went on to explain that formation of PSX was part of the vision of the present government and expected that it will play a major role towards achieving the desired economic growth agenda of the government. While briefing on the various ongoing projects in the financial sector, he mentioned that the macro-economic indicators of the country were rapidly improving as confirmed by international credit rating agencies. He shared with the audience that the country’s foreign reserves have increased from $11.5 billion to $20 billion due to prudent economic policies of the government.
Senator Dar further highlighted that the government has extended support to the capital market through enactment of crucial legislation such as the Securities Act, 2015. This and other such laws, he said would have significant impact by improving regulatory enforcement, compliance and facilitation. He stressed upon accelerating efforts for divestment of shareholding of the PSX according to requirements of law, and expressed his desire to see PSX as a modernized, progressive and well-governed exchange, geared to attract global strategic investment and technological partnerships. Mr. Dar highlighted that the international community has started acknowledging improvement in the Pakistani economy, which presents numerous opportunities to the PSX. The Finance Minister also highlighted that the government, in line with its consultative and participatory approach, was receptive to proposals from the business community with regards to tax rationalization and incentives for encouraging new listings and promoting the capital markets.
The Chairman SECP - Mr. Zafar Hijazi, while addressing the occasion, highlighted that the SECP had succeeded in providing a favorable environment and creating consensus of the stakeholders on the integration of the three exchanges, without which strategic investment was not possible. He stressed that the PSX must act towards achievement of objectives of its establishment and strive to gain absolute confidence of domestic and foreign investors for mobilizing capital for economic growth. For this purpose, PSX must demonstrate the highest standards of governance, transparency, ensure the best technology and availability of innovative products for competing in today’s globalized world. He informed the audience that because of Pakistan’s improving economic indicators and compliance with global benchmarks, the MSCI Pakistan Index has been included in the 2016 Annual Market Classification Review for a potential reclassification to MSCI Emerging Markets. He hoped that with the completion of successful integration of exchanges and other complementary reforms in place, Pakistan will regain the status of Emerging Market at the MSCI platform, thereby creating greater opportunities for the country. He said that the important projects of economic political should be of supreme importance for all.
Other notable speakers on the occasion, Mr. Muneer Kamal – Chairman PSX Board, Mr. Arif Habib, Mr. Ferozuddin Cassim, Mr. Muhammad Naeem, Syed Mukhtar Hussain Jaffery and Dr. Yasir Mahmood also appreciated PSX as a milestone achievement for Pakistan. The ceremony was attended by Governor and Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan, members of the SECP Policy Board, Chairperson Competition Commission of Pakistan, Chairman National Investment Trust, Chief Executives and board members of PSX and the former exchanges, clearing company, depository company, commodity exchange, and prominent business leaders from the banking, capital market, insurance and non-bank financial sector. A gong ceremony was also held to announce the launch of PSX.