On November 12th 2015, Central Depository Company organized the soft launch of Abbottabad Sarmayakari Markaz (ASM) – Pakistan’s first ever Capital Market Business Hub.
It all started on January 17, 2015 when Mr. Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi, Chairman – SECP visited the CDC House. Upon his visit, he made an important announcement to form a committee headed by Mr. Muhammad Hanif Jakhura, CEO – CDC, comprising of representatives of the stock exchanges (now Pakistan Stock Exchange) and asset management companies. The committee was assigned the task to enhance collaboration between Capital Market entities to increase outreach to smaller cities of Pakistan. These small cities have untapped savings which may result in exponential growth if synergized with right investment options. With this mandate, the committee took its first initiative of preparing an implementation plan to develop and fully operate a pilot project of Capital Market Business Hubs in such cities of Pakistan.
We envisioned these Hubs to play a pivotal role in enhancing the outreach and accessibility of the Capital Market across Pakistan by serving as a central location where people can have access to all major capital market entities under one roof.
CDC was assigned the task to launch Pakistan’s first ever Capital Market Business Hub. After extensive research and analysis, CDC decided to establish the first Hub in Abbottabad. As far as economic potential is concerned, Abbottabad is at the heart of the famous Hazara Belt which covers many cities including Haripur, Mansehra and Balakot etc. The Abbottabad Sarmayakari Markaz (ASM) is located in the heart of Mansehra Road which is the most happening and central location in the city of Abbottabad. CDC undertook the establishment of ASM’s office and supervised each and every step from designing till finalization of the construction.
The office interior and facilities are of international standards. Many Capital Market entities agreed to partner with CDC in its endeavor to increase the outreach of Pakistan Capital Market. These partners include 2 reputable brokerage houses, 6 leading AMCs, a bank, Karachi Stock Exchange (Now Pakistan Stock Exchange) and the apex regulator: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). CDC also holds an office at ASM.
The soft launch ceremony took place at a local hotel in Abbottabad. The event was attended by all the participants of the Hub and the representatives of Abbottabad Press Club, Abbottabad Small Industries Association and Abbottabad Chamber of Commerce and residents of Abbottabad. The Chief Guest on the occasion, Mr. Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi, Chairman – SECP, commended CDC’s efforts and stated that Abbottabad Sarmayakari Markaz is a revolutionary step towards changing the landscape of Pakistan Capital Market. CEO-CDC Muhammad Hanif Jakhura spoke about the various initiatives of increasing outreach to investors undertaken by CDC since its inception. The event received overwhelming praise from the investor community of Abbottabad.
Post launch Investor cultivation efforts:
CDC and SECP initiated investor cultivation efforts in Abbottabad after the launch of Abbottabad Sarmayakari Markaz. A number of Investor Awareness Seminars were conducted by CDC’s representatives at various locations including; Abbottabad Press Club, Mishwani Law College, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Abbottabad, Frontier Medical & Dental College and Ayub Medical College. A great number of individuals including journalists, students and faculty members attended these seminars where they were briefed about CDC’s roles, responsibilities and service offerings. Moreover, they were educated on the purpose of establishing Capital Market Hubs. Our representatives enlightened the attendees on various investments opportunities related to Abbottabad Sarmayakari Markaz (ASM).
After the success of ASM, the next phase in this endeavor would be the establishment of multiple Capital Market Hubs in various small cities of Pakistan in order to direct the idle investments towards economy building causes.