Wednesday Mar 25, 2020
KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange board convened an emergent meeting on Tuesday to review the measures in place as the equity market witnessed another bloodbath and plunged 7% to close at 28,565 points.
“The board members expressed satisfaction at the smooth functioning of the trading activities during the day and commended the management on implementing robust business continuity measures over the last 2 weeks,” a statement from the bourse said.
“These measures resulted in seamless functioning of the PSX today, in very challenging circumstances. They also outlined directions and provided guidance on actions to be taken in the forthcoming days to effectively deal with the situation arising because of the virus and lockdown in different parts of Pakistan,” it added.
On Tuesday, the PSX benchmark KSE-100 index tanked 6.86% of 2,103 points to close at 28,565 points, the lowest level since September 1, 2014.
This has been the highest day-on-day decline in percentage terms since May 20, 2002 or 7.5%. KSE-30 shares index followed suit with a low of 7.46% or 1,010.12 points to end at 12,526.91 points level.
The board expressed satisfaction over the timely and appropriate measures taken by the PSX management to secure the interests of investors and shareholders.
“The various business functions of the Stock Exchange including trading, settlement, clearing, risk management and IT worked seamlessly and there were no operational or settlement issues encountered, despite the challenges on account of the economic scenario and lockdown due to the potential threat of the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”
“PSX management, over the last two weeks, under the guidance of the SECP, and in close coordination with its associated companies and SROs, NCCPL and CDC had undertaken and enacted comprehensive exercises of trading and technology functionality, risk management process drills and administrative precautionary measures to ensure business continuity and safety for its employees, TREC holders and investors,” it stated.
The measures included steps which translated to over 85% reduction in footfall and attendance at the head office of PSX among other actions.
The PSX also successfully launched the very first ETFs, namely the UBL Pakistan Enterprise ETF offered by UBL Funds and NIT Pakistan Gateway ETF offered by NIT.
Speaking on the occasion, Securities and Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Aamir Khan said the ETF introduction is a big leap for asset management industry and stock market in Pakistan.
“This product offers significant growth potential due to its transparent nature, low costs and embedded ability to track the index by following a passive investment strategy,” Khan said, addressing the ETF’s virtual launch.