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December 28, 2011

‘Negative perception mars national development’

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December 28, 2011

ISLAMABAD. Arif Habib Group Chairman and CEO Arif Habib, on Tuesday, said that Pakistan’s economy is improving but the nation is faced with a bigger problem of perception which needs to be changed for the sake of national development.
Speaking at a reception held in his honour by Ruhi Farzana Shafi, he said that “our capital markets are one of the best in the world providing 31 percent average return in the last 10 years, but it has been marred by image issues.”
Habib further said that interference in the capital markets haven’t helped bring improvement either. He said that there is no Capital Gains Tax in most countries, while the system is also not frequently altered in developed countries.
Calling for unity among stockbrokers, he said that “we will not be able to get due rights as long as we are divided”. Habib asked founder president of Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tariq Sayeed to lead the stockbrokers so that they can get their voices heard and their concerns addressed.
Speaking on the occasion, Sayeed said that when the CEO of a group who is managing assets in excess of Rs40 billion says something about the economy, it means a lot. Insisting on universal best practices, he said that he is against proxy system in the capital markets which is not practiced anywhere in the world. He said that he supports tax on stockbrokers but would not endorse extortion or unnecessary intervention.
Sayeed further said that he will do everything to get stockbrokers their due rights including empowered boards and simple tax regime which will ensure flow of local and foreign investment.
Better regulation and supervision will reduce volatility, enhance capital mobilising ability, fair trading, better information disclosure and fuel rapid rise which was witnesses in 2002-06, he said. He called upon the brokers to forge unity which will pave the way for integration of all the stock markets which to

benefit all the stakeholders.

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