ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has planned to ramp up policing of corporate and market fraud by seeking charges against more individuals and pursuing larger fines against companies that commit wrongdoing.

The SECP’s Enforcement Department while enforcing compliance of corporate and allied laws continued its efforts to attain zero tolerance for violations of shareholder rights as well as facilitation of corporate and statutory compliance by companies. The department initiated 56 show-cause proceedings related to various matters, including violations of takeover laws and non-compliance with legal requirements regarding auditors’ reports, directors’ powers, holding annual general meetings, investment in associated companies, circulation of financial statements, treatment of surplus on revaluation of fixed assets and security deposits etc. During the period under review, the department concluded 62 proceedings, including proceedings initiated in the last couple of months, against chief executives, directors and auditors of companies for aforesaid violations.

In order to facilitate further issue of capital, approval was granted to a company to issue ordinary shares of Rs10 each to holders of Rs1 billion participation term certificates (PTCs), by way of otherwise than right. In addition, the SECP relaxed the requirement of the 1996 Companies (Issue of Capital) Rules in two cases and granted approval to a bank to issue right shares more than once in a year to meet minimum capital requirements. Another company was facilitated by allowing it extension in time for the book closure announcement of right issue.

In addition, 65 investor complaints pertaining to non-issuance of shares, non-verification of transfer deeds and non-payment of dividends were resolved. Twenty-three companies were given approval to appoint their cost auditors under the 1998 Companies (Audit of Cost Accounts) Rules. Six companies were granted exemption from the statutory duty of filing consolidated financial statements while one company was allowed to change the place of its annual general meeting (AGM). In addition, one company was granted an extension to hold the AGM. Keeping in view the practical difficulties faced by companies, relaxation from the mandatory requirement of printing, computerised national identity card (CNIC) number on the dividend warrants was granted to 21 companies.