Safe rule book to act as guiding principles for all capital markets in SAARC region

Lahore, June 06, 2013 (PPI-OT): South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) – the only industry association of the all stock exchanges in the South Asian region has announced the completion of the first version of its Rule Book which details uniform model of regulations for adoption by all SAARC nations to financially integrate the region.

“The proposed regulations are related to market operations, market integrity, enforcement regulations and all SAFE members in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal shall be encouraged to adopt provisions of this Rule Book, if applicable, in order to promote market integrity, efficiency and transparency”, said Mr. Aftab Ahmad Ch., MD Lahore Stock Exchange and Secretary General SAFE during a press briefing session held by SAFE of its USAID funded project on developing a regionally harmonized regulatory framework, on Thursday, 6th June 2013, at LSE, Lahore.

Mr. Aftab, in his speech, emphasized on the need to increase cross boarder financial activities within the South Asian region to create strong intraregional links and an integrated economic region. He was of the view that SAFE’s project on developing a harmonized regulatory framework shall serve as a first step towards building a financially integrated south Asian region.

SAFE’s prime consultant Mr. Amir Raza Khan gave an informative presentation on the project progress to date. Main focus of the presentation was to appraise the audience about the development of SAFE Rule Book and the way forward. “In order to make sure that the proposed model is not shelved but actually implemented, SAFE shall be holding series of Multi stakeholders’ advocacy moots in India in July 2013, followed by one in Nepal with SAARC officials and one in Pakistan respectively.”

The objectives of these moots are to hold effective dialogue and discussion with the regulatory heads of each South Asian country and SAARC Secretary General and economic directors on the draft SAFE Rule Book prepared by SAFE and to alleviate the road blocks envisaged for the adoption of the proposed regulatory recommendations to bring about regional financial integration in South Asia.

Later, Mr. Aftab thanked the U.S. Government for its assistance, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to work towards securing a self-sustaining economic future of Pakistan by nurturing more efficient economic environment.

“We believe that SAFE’s project shall serve as a landmark initiative to achieve economic growth, not only in Pakistan, but all across the South Asian region”, he said. He further thanked the people of United States of America for their commitment to assist Pakistan to further develop its economic sector and economic sustainability.

The concept for this project, entitled, “Regional Financial Integration – Developing a Harmonized Regulatory Framework for the Capital Markets in Pakistan and South Asia”, has been developed under the specific needs identified by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat of facilitating regional financial integration.

The objectives of the project are to develop harmonized market regulations for the capital markets; to standardize self regulatory framework for the management and the operations of the markets in the region; to enhance market integrity and investor confidence; to introduce consistent and common reporting standards; to improve the governance and transparency norms for the listed sector; to facilitate easy capital raising on regional basis and the promotion of cross border listings; to deepen and broaden the region’s securities markets; to assist in, relatively, free movement of capital and portfolio investments; and to promote the greater integration of the South Asian capital and financial markets.

SAFE is a cooperative platform launched by the bourses in South Asia with a purpose to promote the development and harmonization of the securities markets in the region. SAFE is a not for profit association having Recognized Body status of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and is a network exchange association of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).

The operations, activities, and the programs of Federation are primarily funded by its member exchanges, while some specific projects get sponsorships from some multilateral donor/development agencies. As of January 2013, SAFE comprises of thirty four (34) member entities from the SAARC Region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) as well as from Kazakhstan, Mauritius and UAE.

For more information, contact:
Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE)
19, Khayaban-e-Aiwan-e-Iqbal,
P.O. Box: 1315,
Lahore-54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 636 8000
FAX: +9242 636 484 -85
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