Moot discusses non-banking financial sector, capital markets

KARACHI: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is holding a three-day conference on ‘Non-Bank Financial Sector and Capital Markets’.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra inaugurated the conference. More than 250 participants including foreign and local financial sector experts, industry professionals and senior government officials would be attending the conference. The first two days have been divided into six different sessions and each session have been dedicated to a particular segment on non-banking financial sector, which includes leasing, investment banking, microfinance, housing finance, mutual funds and Modarabas. The third day of the conference has been allocated to deliberate the dynamics and outlook of our capital markets.

The SECP chairman, in his address at the opening session, welcomed all the participants of conference. He hoped that the conference would provide a platform to the policymakers, international experts and industry players to debate the challenges faced by our non-banking financial sector and capital markets and suggest a way forward after taking into consideration the local industry dynamics and international practices.

He said that this conference is part of SECP’s continuous efforts to improve the overall business environment through consultative process, which would benefit all the stakeholders, including market participants and the regulator.

SECP is constantly striving to promote investment in the country, he said, emphasising that regulatory measures can help in ensuring provision of a conducive regulatory environment, however, real thrust has to come from the market participants and they need to look at best regional and international practices to offer suitable and cost-effective products to give investors a “fair deal” so that potential of financial markets should be fully explored.

USAID Mission Director John Groarke on the occasion said that USAID is proud to work with the Pakistani government to strengthen the financial sector and increase private-sector access to finance. He apprised the participants that USAID is working with Pakistan on debt security issuance, strengthening the debt market and helping access to loans for micro, small and medium enterprises.

The SBP governor in his inaugural speech congratulated SECP and USAID for holding this event. The SBP governor proposed that the non-banking financial sector might consider introducing deposit protection scheme for the depositors of the non-banking financial institutions. He assured that SBP would provide full support in resolution of issues faced by the sector.

It is expected that this conference would not only offer diverse views covering both aspects i.e. demand and supply but would also provide insight with regard to international perspectives of non-banking financial services.

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