SECP’s revamps regulation to ensure EODB, market expansion

ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): The Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revamped numerous regulatory regimes by reducing obstacles in many of its regulated sectors for ensuring Ease of Doing Business (EODB).

Under its commitment to promote ease of doing business, SECP with support of Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing a five-years plan for development of financial markets in Pakistan, Official sources of SECP told APP here on Tuesday.
The long-term road map will be focusing on demand and supply measures to broaden and deepen the financial system in Pakistan.

In line with government’s vision of Digital Pakistan, SECP has already kicked-off a project Leading Efficiency through Automated Prowess (LEAP).

Under this project, SECP will digitalize all its regulatory processes. In this regard SECP has already codified and re-engineered 250 processes for end to end automation. It is expected that this digitalization project will be implemented within two years.

It will lead to end-to-end digitalization of all internal and external regulatory approvals, launch of a modern Secured Transaction Registry (STR) and introduction of Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for financial reporting.

SECP operationalized the new Secured Transactions Registry, established under Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) Act 2016, for registration of security interests created by entities other than companies on their movable assets.

Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor to PM on Finance and Revenue, inaugurated the STR on May 7.

To attract new listings in stock market, improve capital formation and provide ease of doing business, SECP has completely digitalized the IPO process for equity and debt issues.
It has made IPO processes more easy, simple and cost effective. First time, government raised Rs 200 billion through Sukuk at less than KIBOR rate, through competitive book building at PSX’, saving Rs 18 bln over 10 years on debt servicing. Transaction oversubscribed by 70 per cent. Excellent team effort of MOF Debt Office , SECP, SBP and PSX.

Pakistan’s first ever Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) was launched at PSX and with the launch of this product, PSX has joined the list of stock exchanges in the world offering ETFs which are investment products combining the returns offered by the stock market with the diversity offered by a mutual fund.

PSX has launched two ETFs, namely the UBL Pakistan Enterprise ETF offered by UBL Funds and NIT Pakistan Gateway ETF offered by NIT. In given circumstances due to COVID 19 pandemic, and in the interest of safety, arrangements were made for virtual launch of ETF, that was also first of its kind.

Introduced amendments in Companies Act 2017, to provide an enabling regulatory framework for businesses, promote and nurture startups as well as attract local and international innovators.

SECP launches single online procedure for swift company registration and the process for registration of business is completely digitalized. Now a new company can be registered in Pakistan only in 4-hours. Now, a new company can be registered in only Rs1500.
SECP has reduced fees for mutual fund and insurance sectors by 70 per cent. The reduction in SECP fee will directly benefit mutual funds unit holders, as this cost was being charged to the unit holders of mutual funds; the reduction in SECP annual fee will also indirectly enhance return of mutual fund investors.

SECP is also in process of bringing new laws for insurance and NBFC sector to allow digital distribution channels. The use of technology will improve financial inclusion and access to insurance and finance to every individual.

Requirement relating to payment of subscription money within 30 days of incorporation by subscriber and filing of auditor certificate has been done away to facilitate small companies.
To establish Pakistan agriculture supply line on modern lines, and provide farmers easy access to finance and reduced their post-harvest losses, SECP has notified Collateral Management Companies Regulations.

The Collateral Management Companies will reserve agriculture commodities by using modern technology and issue electronic receipts to farmers. The farmers can use these electronic receipts for securing loans from banks or can trade this on commodities market.
SECP is also reviewing the Securities Act and the Futures Market Act for their simplification and unification.