Capital market will remain operational today, SECP announces

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KARACHI: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on Monday announced that all Capital Market entities would be operational on Tuesday (today).

Keeping in view the fact that banks and the stock market are vital instruments of the country’s financial system, the commission claims it has taken necessary measures to ensure continuity of business operations of its Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) including the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), the Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX), the Central Depository Company of Pakistan (CDC) and the National Clearing Company of Pakistan (NCCPL).

Given that the Sindh government had announced the provincial lockdown from March 23 upon the SECP’s request, it has included SROs of the Capital Market amongst ‘Essential Services’.

To ensure the business continuity and preparedness of the TREC holders and the SROs, SECP conducted a mock trading session in the Capital Market on Monday.

During the mock exercise, all the TREC holders were logged in from their respective Disaster Recovery (DR) and remote locations and successfully went through the processes of trading, clearing and settlement. The PSX, NCCPL and CDC teams were providing support services to ensure all activities run efficiently and all TREC holders are equipped for market operations today (Tuesday) onwards as business commences.

The Commission added that the Information Technology departments of all SROs and SECP have made ‘Work from Home’ arrangements and connectivity with the trading, clearing, settlement and depository systems of the SROs.

“In view of the lock down situation and the remote access arrangements, SECP will announce certain relaxations for the Capital Market stake holders in morning before opening of trading session,” the SECP said in the statement.

The SECP advises the TREC holders that the number of staff at office be kept at the minimal and only critical staff be maintained at the official premises.

Furthermore, the SECP advises the investors and visitors to stay away from visiting the stock exchange and the TREC holders in view of the current situation.

The SECP also advises its SROs to abide by the directives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to maintain safety and protect themselves, their staff members, TREC holders and investors at large in the wake of the potential threat of the coronavirus.

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