Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has made the announcement that the capital market institutes would carry on their operations on 24 March and these capital market entities are included with Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX), National Clearing Company of Pakistan (NCCPL) and Central Depository Company of Pakistan (CDC). PSX, PMEX, NCCPL & CDC Carrying On Operations During Lockdown.
The banks and stock markets are the important institutes of the financial system of Pakistan. The SECP has taken the necessary steps to ensure the continuity of the business operations of the Self Regulatory Organizations (SROs). The SROs of capital market is added with the ‘Essential Services’ and these services will remain operational despite of the lockdown in Sindh and Punjab provinces.
Market Halt at PSX Extended for Next 15 Days
SECP has issued the directives to open the stock market at 11 am. The SECP has issued the directives to PSX in order to extend the duration of market halt from 45 minutes to 120 minutes during the period of lockdown, which may be 15 days. The securities brokers may be allowed to activate and operate DR terminals to carry out the trading during normal operations of PSX for 15 days from 24 March 2020.
SECP Mock Trading Sessions
SECP has conducted the mock trading session on 23 March in the capital market in order to ensure the continuity of business and preparedness of TREC holders and SROs. During this exercise, all TREC holders were logged in from respective disaster recovery and remote location and it has carried out the process of trading, clearing and settlement. The teams of PSX, CDC and NCCPL provided the support services to carry on these activities efficiently and the TREC holders are added with market operations to start the business process.
The IT departments of SROs and SECP have made the arrangements to work from home and ensure the connectivity with trading, clearing and settlement and depository systems of SROs.
SECP Announces Relaxations
During the lockdown situation and remote access arrangements, SECP will declare some relaxations for the capital market stakeholders before opening the trading session.
SECP advises TREC holders that they keep limited number of staff at the office and the critical staff be maintained at official premises. The SECP advises that visitors and investors are discouraged to visit the Stock Exchange and TREC holders during this situation.