SAFE plans cross-border trading

Kathmandu, March 22:

South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) is planning to integrate the stock exchanges of South Asian Countries.

Established with the aim of development of human resources, technology and exchange of technologies and knowledge, SAFE also plans to start cross-border listing and trading between member-organisations that is composed of 16 stock and commodity exchanges in South Asia and the UAE.

The eighth annual general meeting of the organisation in Abu Dhabi has elected a new committee under Adanan Afridi of Karachi Stock Exchange Ltd as its president.

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed of Chittagong Stock Exchange, Bangladesh; Joseph Messy of Multi-Commodity Exchange of India and Rashid A L Balushi of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange of UAE; Mohammed Luqman of National Clearing Company of Pakistan and Shankar Man Singh, the managing director of Nepal Stock Exchange are the members of the SAFE.

Established in 2000 with the objective of consolidating exchange practices and helping to streamline securities’ laws and regulations in the region, SAFE’s permanent secretariat is located in Islamabad.

During the AGM, SAFE also launched the Dow Jones SAFE 100 index and the Dow Jones SAFE Pakistan Index. Dow Jones SAFE 100 index has listed companies from Bangladesh, Mauritius, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

This is the first time an index has been created to measure the performance of blue-chip companies in five of the eight member-states of SAFE.

The Dow Jones SAFE indices are designed to support index-linked investment products such as funds, exchange-traded funds, structured products, futures and options. The index measures the performance of the 50 largest Indian stocks and the 50 largest stocks trading in Bangladesh, Mauritius, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

IPO regulation in force

KATHMANDU: The Initial Public Offering (IPO) Regulation-2065 has come into effect from Sunday. According to the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon), the regulation has clearly directed the issue managers to return the money within five days after allotment of the issue. But the time period of allotment has been increased from one-and-half months to two-and-a-half months, depending on the number of applications. Earlier, the allotment duration was a minimum of one month and a maximum of two months. Issue managers had been requesting the Board for extension of allotment time saying that the time was not enough for allotment. The regulation has also told issue managers to have space in the application form for photo. “The regulatory authority might make it mandatory for a photo of the applicant because many fake investors applied for the primary shares,” said issue manager. Sebon has already made it mandatory to have a bank account to submit application. This was done to check fake applications. — HNS

Aftab Ahmad Chaudhary, managing director and CEO of Islamabad Stock Exchange and secretary general of SAFE, said that the Dow Jones SAFE 100 Index showcases the region as a one-asset class and that it can be used as an underlying tool for investment products both at the national and international level.

Independently, the South Asian markets like Nepal and others are considered to be too small by the international fund managers. But when these are grouped together in an index, and more so in an index with India, the markets would attract much more attention.

“South Asia is home to some of the most rapidly evolving financial markets worldwide,” saids Dow Jones Indexes president Michael Petronella.

“By further developing securities markets and aiming at their regional and international integration, SAFE has been contributing significantly to these developments,” Petronella added.