In addition to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, Irish Stock Exchange, International Stock Exchange, there is the Islamabad Stock Exchange and its primary listings. The listings are made of over 100 companies and funds combined.

“The Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) was incorporated as a guarantee limited Company on 25th October, 1989 in Islamabad  Capital territory of Pakistan with the main object of setting up of a trading and settlement infrastructure, information system, skilled  resources, accessibility and a fair and orderly market place that ranks with the best in the world. The purpose for establishment of the stock exchange in Islamabad was  to cater to the needs of less developed areas of the northern part of Pakistan.”

Having reviewed many exchanges, the common theme of making access to capital easier and reliable to trade as an equity to help companies, especially small to medium sized enterprises as a common thread. Public companies with access to capital often can drive investment into local economies fortifying economic development of clusters, especially in these urban scenarios. It also helps channel and investment of residents from less developed areas into ventures that is tracked and valued appropriately, with a regulatory environment to do so. Eseentially it offers much the same as what is offered in other markets, but it is still very much in its infancy in Islamabad as self-confessed on their website. With many Pakistani abroad, the exchange would definately be smart to capitalize on this portion of the population for foreign investors into the market, however, the market also allows for large scale foreign market investor and domestic investors to take part in trading the companies eligible.  Both small and large companies are listed, which makes the exchange a very exciting and diverse exchange, the quote most liked by myself on the website is:

“The Exchange is playing a pivotal role for economic growth of the area thereby contributing towards the overall economic prosperity and welfare of the country.”

At present there are 118 members out of which 104 are corporate bodies including commercial and investment banks, DFIs and brokerage houses. The other 18 Members are individual persons who are well educated, enterprising and progressive minded. The affairs of the Exchange are governed by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consists of ten directors, of which five are elected member directors and four are non-member directors nominated by the SECP while the managing director by virtue of his office is the tenth director of the Board . In order to protect the interest of the investing public, an Investors Protection fund has been established by the Exchange.

Since the inception of automated trading system (ISECTS), the trade volume has been multiplying day by day and the average daily turnover has now crossed the figure of 1 million shares. Now all the listed securities are traded through the ISECTS. The system of physical handling of shares and securities has been phased out and majority of the scrips are settled through Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited.

In this context efforts are being made to bring ISE in line with the International system and methodology. 

I look forward to following and understanding in more detail how companies list on the Islamabad Stock Exchange. I will contact their listings department for more information, as I have a few colleagues who would probably benefit from listing there, something new, something targeted, news worthy, I am intrigued.

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