ISLAMABAD: At a time when some of the regional and Asian markets were struggling to avert the prevalent COVID-19 crisis, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) managed to deal with the situation effectively due to prudent measures adopted by it, said PSX Managing Director Farrukh H. Khan in an exclusive interview with APP.
The PSX MD attributed the smooth functioning of the exchange to the roles played by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), brokerage houses and associated companies.
“I would attribute the smooth functioning of PSX to the guidance provided by the SECP and coordinated efforts from the brokerage houses and our associated companies in the ecosystem,” he remarked.
In addition, he said, the Chinese exchange also assisted PSX in devising protocols and standard operating procedures, which have been instrumental in executing measures to keep the market functioning seamlessly.
These guidelines, he added, helped the operational activities and trading platforms of PSX to continue to function normally in these trying times while ensuring safety and protection of the PSX staff and employees.
He claimed that PSX was one of the first organisations in the country that had implemented ‘work from home’ facility for its employees, without compromising on business continuity.
The process of ‘remote access’ was also introduced for brokerage firms so that activities could continue through the trading cycle, he added.
Khan said the exchange had even initiated certain administrative measures prior to the lockdown, including manual attendance system, checking the temperature of all visitors to PSX, use of hand sanitizers, limited footfall and reduced staff.
During this period, the PSX management, under the guidance of the SECP and coordination with its associated companies, undertook exercises of trading and technology functionality and risk management process to ensure business continuity, he added.
“It is for this reason that the exchange was able to function normally during these difficult times. Presently, only about 10-12pc of staff is coming to office while the rest are working from home.”
Talking about trading activities amid current crisis, the PSX MD told APP, “I see opportunity for long term investors to make an entry and hold long positions in order to reap the benefits of attractive valuations now on offer at the stock market.”
He said the market having touched the oversold levels was now rebounding with investors re-entering the market.
“So we expect the situation to pan out well for the investors and stakeholders in the long run,” he said, adding that by taking advantage of this situation, investors can re-enter the market and let the capital market play its role for the betterment of the country’s economy.