Monday July 04, 2022

SECP’s enhanced enforcement paid off in FY21

By Our Correspondent
May 22, 2022

ISLAMABAD: During last fiscal year corporate policing busted a number of fly-by-night companies, slapped fines worth billions, and clamped down on a myriad of illegal practices to ensure a safe business environment, the country's corporate watchdog said in its annual report.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on Sturday released its annual report for the fiscal year 2020-21 that covers the reforms undertaken with the objectives to ensure effective enforcement, improve access to finance, encourage capital formation, simplify regulatory processes and reduce costs of doing business. “Enhanced enforcement resulted into initiation of winding-up proceedings against 22 companies, imposition of penalties of up to Rs5 billion and debarment of their sponsors from becoming directors of any other company or incorporating any new company. These companies were involved in fraudulent activities,” the apex corporate regulator said.

“In FY 2020- 2021, aimed at ensuring consistent, more transparent and focused regulatory oversight across sectors, SECP established a centralised Supervision Division to adopt an integrated enforcement strategy and uniform decision making.”

According to the report, during the year, the FATF Asia Pacific Group (APG) assessors rated Pakistan largely compliant to all SECP relevant 54 recommended action items of MER 2019.

In order to improve access to finance to SMEs and startups, SECP notified amendments to Companies (Further Issue of Shares) Regulations to enable private companies to raise capital by receiving immovable property, intangible assets and services from potential investors.

To promote investment in the real estate sector through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), SECP revamped the regulatory framework of REITs and introduced a new Public Private Partnership (P3) model. The major revamp led to approval of the first shariah compliant Developmental REIT Scheme. In addition, during the year licenses were granted for three housing finance companies; two investment fi­nance services and to a microfi nance services company.