ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 1,125 new companies in March, raising the number of registered companies to 84,783.

As compared to the corresponding month of last year, it represents a growth of 36 percent. The massive increase in number of new companies is the result of various reform measures introduced by the SECP, i.e. introduction of simplified combined process for name reservation and incorporation, reduction of fee, assistance of incorporation by facilitation wings of CROs etc.

Around 79 percent companies were registered as private limited companies, while around 19 percent companies were registered as single-member companies. Two percent of the companies were registered as public unlisted, association not for profit and foreign companies.

The services and trading sector took the lead with the incorporation of 172 companies each, construction and information technology with 128 each, tourism with 58, education and engineering with 40 each, food and beverages with 36, real estate development with 35, corporate agricultural farming with 31, healthcare with 23, transport with 18, auto and allied and communication with 16 each, broadcasting and telecasting with 14,   fuel and energy, mining and quarrying, pharmaceutical and textile with 13 each, power generation with 11 and 135 companies were registered in other sectors. Moreover, 5 foreign companies were also registered by the CROs in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Foreign investment has been reported in 59 new companies. These companies have foreign investors from, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Iran, Jordan, Norway, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the US.

The highest numbers of companies, i.e. 407 were registered at the Company Registration Office (CRO), Islamabad, followed by 312 and 206 companies registered at CRO Lahore and Karachi respectively. The CROs in Peshawar, Multan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Faisalabad, Quetta, and Sukkur registered 52, 52, 39, 31, 21 and 5 companies respectively.