ISLAMABAD - The Consultative Group on Capital Markets held its third meeting under the chairmanship of Zafar Hijazi, the SECP chairman, in Karachi on Saturday.

The group stressed the need for effective implementation of various developmental reforms under the Capital Market Development Plan 2016-18.

With regards to targets set for the current financial year, measures were discussed for increasing market capitalization, new listings, development of new products, derivatives, image building of Pakistan, capital market.

Hijazi, in particular, called on the frontline regulators and the market intermediaries to play their due role in creating investor awareness and expanding the outreach of capital market in the length and breadth of the country, thus addressing the issue of meager investor base and limited access to capital market services.

He also reiterated the SECP’s unwavering resolve to take strict action against those found involved in misappropriation of investors’ assets, market manipulation or in any other illegal financial activity.

 The group lauded SECP for unearthing an illegal brokerage house in Rahim Yar Khan and for taking an immediate action against it.

The group was of the view that this enforcement approach will go a long way in developing investors’ confidence in the market and will send a strong message to unscrupulous elements.  The group also reviewed the status of reforms and measures agreed upon in the earlier meetings and observed with appreciation the progress made in all major areas in the form of various new regulations and initiatives by the SECP.

The initiatives include introduction of revised regulatory framework for book-building, CCP model for NCCPL, phased implementation of new brokers’ regime, stringent criteria for selection of auditors for brokers, reforms in negotiated deal market, revised modalities in the margin financing product.

The SECP agreed to review any new suggestions for further improving the book building mechanism to ensure maximum participation of investors, remove any irritants in the listing process, and to review the group’s request for introducing minimum commission scales for brokers.