Merger of stock exchanges lauded

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday lauded the merger of three stock exchanges of the country, terming it necessary to improve transparency and discourage broker mafia.

The integration of the three exchanges is an essential step in that direction which will result in some stability but more needs to be done to restore confidence of local and international investors in the Pakistan’s stock market, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW while talking to Patron of Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt and Chairperson Trade and Commerce Committee of Quetta Chamber Tabassum Anwar, he said that stock market has remained on the mercy of broker mafia who would orchestrate a crisis for plunder or deter government agencies probing their wrongdoing.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that not a single inquiry has proved fruitful against the influential mafia nor the money of small investors has been returned. The broker mafia managed crisis of May 2000, March 2005 and that of 2008 which resulted in windfall for them and many brokers managed to established banks with the help of ill-gotten money.

The crisis and the outcome of investigations shattered confidence of investors, took toll on the economy, weakened currency and forced country to carry begging bowl to avoid default but the responsible were never brought to the book. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistanis are operating over four million bank accounts but a little less than one hundred thousand invest in stock market which speak volumes about their trust in the system. Pakistan stock exchange will never be able to attract local and foreign investors unless broker mafia is wiped off, he warned.