“I see the Top 25 Companies announcement as positive news coming out of the Stock Exchange.”
Sulaiman S. Mehdi,
Chairman, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)
What is the basic criterion for winning this accolade?
As per tradition at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, these companies have been selected based on specific criteria which have evolved and have been upgraded in line with the developing and evolving business environment in Pakistan. The specifics against which these companies are selected range from Capital Efficiency, Dividend Distribution (including Bonus), Free Float of Shares to Corporate Governance and Investor Relations. In essence, making it to the list of Top 25 Companies involves being measured against select quantitative and qualitative standards.
Does the award help in shifting the position of these companies globally?
By qualifying for this accolade, these companies which belong to a broad spectrum of industries, not only make a name for themselves on the local front but also on the global stage. More investors, analysts, and portfolio managers, amongst others, take interest in these companies, locally as well as internationally. Furthermore, these companies set a guiding light and beacon for other listed companies to emulate and come forth as top performers.
Pakistan faced certain economic challenges due to the Coronavirus pandemic. How did it affect the Pakistan Stock Exchange?
I see the Top 25 Companies announcement as positive news coming out of the Stock Exchange amidst the challenging and difficult times faced by Pakistan’s economy since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. It gives me great satisfaction to state that we at PSX had all systems in place, whether on the technological, operational, regulatory or risk management fronts, to deal with the pandemic and the Exchange did not stop to function even for a minute. Facilities to work from home and implementation of SOPs were fully in place which is why the Exchange continuously performed up to the mark.
The PSX experienced a terrorist attack last year. How did it cope with that?
The outgoing year has been particularly eventful since we not only had the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, but we were also struck by the terrorist attack on the Exchange which was successfully thwarted by the grace of God and by the bravery and courage of our valiant security guards and law enforcing agencies.
Not only that, we were also faced with a severe weather pattern that ravaged the city of Karachi but the Exchange continued to function smoothly and without any break despite these testing situations. This has indeed been a great achievement on part of the Exchange and its ecosystem constituents such as broker-members, the CDC and NCCPL, all of whom worked in tandem to ensure smooth running of trading activities as well as settlement and clearing activities at the Exchange.
Could you highlight some developments taking place at the PSX?
Pakistan Stock Exchange managed to bring new listings on the equity board and debt sector. As a first, the book building of a debt security took place through the state of the art book building system of the Exchange. The Exchange Traded Funds were launched and an enhanced surveillance system was integrated at the Exchange. Moreover, new Market Makers for debt securities were also introduced at Pakistan Stock Exchange.
So all these developments and enhancements taking place at the Exchange ensured and reasserted Pakistan Stock Exchange’s place as the premier capital market and a strong pillar of the economy of Pakistan.
What message do you want to give to these Top 25 Companies?
The announcement of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Top 25 Companies for the year 2019 is a matter of immense pride for me and the Board of PSX. It is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Pakistan and its outperforming companies to the observers of the financial and economic sectors of Pakistan, whether from within the country or from abroad.
I, therefore, extend my warmest congratulations to these companies who have excelled in their respective fields of corporate governance and financial performance and have added significantly to the shareholder’s value. I wish them continuous success and even better performance in the coming months and years. May they prosper and progress even more and shine brightly on Pakistan’s economic and financial landscape for the world to see.
Special Editorial Feature