Karachi - Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Muhammad Zafar Ul Haq Hijazi has emphasized the need to make Pakistan’s capital market more vibrant, transparent and effective to cater to the long term funding needs of the industry. However, the priority should be to safeguard the investors’ interest.

He said this during a visit of the Karachi Stock Exchange’s here on Friday. Chairman KSE, Muneer Kamal and MD Nadeem Naqvi welcomed the Chairman SECP and his team to the Karachi Stock Exchange. Tahir Mahmood, Commissioner (CLD & LL&GCD) SECP, Akif Saeed, Commissioner (SCD & IS&TD) SECP, Imran Iqbal Panjwani, Executive Director (SMD-PRDD) SECP and Musarat Jabeen, Director/Head of Chairman Secretariat, SECP also accompanied the chairman.

Hijazi said that it was important for the frontline regulators to carry out their responsibility with diligence and ensure that prescribed regulations were being followed by market participants. He said both the apex regulator (SECP) and the frontline regulators (exchanges) have common objectives and emphasized for close interaction between them. It was imperative to build the confidence of investors in the capital market so that the size and vibrancy of the market can be expanded many folds from its narrow base at present, he added. He asked the board and management of KSE to move forward with confidence to take the capital market to the next level. He said that transparency and systemization of decision making process at SECP and the exchanges was his first priority along with strengthening the capacity of frontline regulators.

While expressing his desire for building a consensus based decision making process, he assured KSE directors that the SECP’s approach will be to consult with all stake-holders in policy and regulatory matters. The chairman SECP applauded the role of senior market participants in bringing KSE to the prominence and advised that the valuable experience should now be focused on the future.

He said that his vision is to make Pakistan a regional capital market while ensuring the highest international standards and best practices in terms of regulatory framework.  Muneer Kamal, Chairman KSE, welcomed the SECP chairman’s remarks, stating that it was quite encouraging to hear Hijazi’s positive comments and his broader vision for the capital market. Muneer Kamal highlighted the Karachi Stock Exchange’s dialogue with MSCI with a view to moving Pakistan from MSCI’s Frontier Market Index to the Emerging Market Index and stated that SECP’s focus on elevating the regulatory side will be of great help in this regard.  Nadeem Naqvi, MD KSE and Shafqat Ali presented the workings of the commercial and regulatory functions of KSE, respectively, to the Chairman SECP and his team.