ISLAMABAD-The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Aamir Khan said that commission has been focusing on strengthening its regulatory oversight and upgrade its surveillance capability by employing supervisory technology and improving inspection regime.

He was commenting SECP annual report for financial year 2018-19 issued here. The report mentions various measures that the apex regulatory has taken to promote the corporate sector, capital markets, non-banking financial sector and insurance industry. It also includes SECP’s audited financial statements for FY 2018-19.

The SECP Chairman Aamir Khan, in his message published in the report, stated that during the outgoing fiscal the SECP was able to revamp numerous regulatory regimes and remove bottlenecks in regulatory compliance requirements. The SECP will also overhaul the system of custody of assets for capital market investors, he added.

In insurance sector, focus will be on increasing penetration through implementation of compulsory insurances and development of the Microinsurance market while in the AMC sector, SECP will pursue measures for enhancing investor’s outreach through the introduction of a centralized portal to efficiently address investor needs, Aamir pledges.

The SECP Chairman underlines that these goals will be achieved through a multi-pronged strategy involving simplifying regulatory requirements, energizing frontline regulators and supporting product development.

Some of the key successful initiatives that SECP report for FY 2018-19 mentions include switching from mandatory code of corporate governance for listed companies to a “comply or explain” basis, eliminating redundant disclosure requirements under fourth and fifth Schedules of the Companies Act, 2017 and reduction of regulatory and supervisory costs in the insurance and NBFC areas.

In addition, investors were facilitated through a revamp of buy-back regulations by relaxing requirements for buy-back of shares by listed companies and regulatory relaxations for the non-banking financial sector through amendments in Non-banking Finance Companies and Notified Entities Regulations, 2008, mentioned the report.

Moreover, to facilitate small borrowers from SME and agriculture sectors to secure credit from financial institutions, SECP initiated work on establishing a Secured Transactions Registry (STR) for unincorporated entities. It has also notified Collateral Management Companies Regulations, 2019 under the Companies Act, 2017 for facilitating electronic trading and warehouse receipt financing of agricultural commodities.

The improvement in Pakistan’s “Starting a business” indicator from 130 to 72 as per World Bank “Doing Business 2020” study is an acknowledgment of SECP’s success in this area. SECP’s financial results for financial year 2018-19 show a surplus income of Rs148 million as against last year’s surplus of Rs302 million.

The total revenues (net of levies) and other income for the financial year 2018-19 was Rs3,002 million. The SECP, in pursuance of section 25 of the SECP Act 1997, has submitted the annual report to the federal government, which would subsequently be presented in the National Assembly of Pakistan.