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Deputy Governor State Bank launches  the project of “RAAST payments for Mutual Fund investments” implemented by CDC

Karachi: 25th Oct 2023

In its endeavor to facilitate investors and effect ease of doing business, Central Depository Company (CDC) has collaborated again with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for leveraging SBP’s RAAST Payment Gateway to allow mutual fund investors to transfer their investments to the mutual fund bank accounts. This project was mutually initiated by CDC and MUFAP who jointly approached SBP to extend the utility of RAAST payment gateway for facilitating mutual fund unit sales. CDC has developed a framework where it acts as an “Aggregator” and issues a Payment ID, enabling investors to easily purchase mutual fund units by transferring funds to the respective Asset Management Company (AMC) from any bank portal. The transfer of funds is instantaneous and completely cost-free through RAAST’s P2P facility. This project is a roll-out of RAAST’s peer to peer (P2P) payment framework with CDC as the payment aggregator. Three AMCs are already live for the pilot phase, with more in the process of onboarding.

CDC has been actively engaged in the RAAST project since its initial phases and holds the distinction of being the first institution selected to test and implement the framework through its Dividend Disbursement project.

While officiating the event, Deputy Governor SBP – Mr. Saleem Ullah said, “State Bank of Pakistan and CDC share the vision of leveraging new technology to improve process flows in the Financial Markets and create a multidisciplinary network of transparency by replacing old, obsolete and manual processes with innovative tech-based processes. We are pleased that we are mutually collaborating in the realization of our shared vision and have successfully implemented many groundbreaking initiatives together, such as Roshan Equity Investments, Shared KYC and RAAST payment gateway implementations for Capital Market related payment processes.”

Commissioner SECP – Mr. Mujtaba Ahmad Lodhi also honored the event and remarked, “CDC has been consistently working closely with SECP for formulating and refining the Regulatory framework for the mutual fund industry. It is heartening to witness the successful realization of many such pioneering initiatives by CDC, in collaboration with SBP and SECP, and the steady progress towards market development, greater efficiencies and investor facilitation.”

While speaking at the event, CEO CDC – Mr. Badiuddin Akber said, “This project is a step toward implementing the SIP-type model in Pakistan, a model which is already successfully operational in regional peers like India, and has the potential to attract significant investments in mutual funds. We look forward to more collaboration between CDC and SBP in line with our mutual vision of effecting transparency and ease of doing business through digitization and innovation.”

Chairman CDC – Mr. Moin Fudda welcomed the audience and thanked SBP for their continued support in market development endeavors by CDC. The event was attended by Commissioner SECP – Mr. Mujtaba Ahmad Lodhi, CEO MUFAP – Ms. Mashmooma Zehra Majeed, senior executives of the mutual fund industry and significant stakeholders of Pakistan’s financial eco-system, all of whom lauded CDC’s efforts in undertaking this initiative and playing its role for market development.

PICG and CDC sign MoU for the implementation of e-Go, a central Corporate Governance Portal

Karachi: October 5, 2023

To mark the occasion of the IOSCO World Investor Week 2023 (2nd to 8th Oct 2023), Pakistan Institute and Corporate Governance (PICG) and Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDCPL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development and implementation of e-Go platform, a groundbreaking digital initiative aimed to empower and facilitate investors/shareholders with the necessary knowledge of their shareholder rights and corporate governance practices. This initiative is in line with SECP’s vision to have more informed and involved shareholders and to protect the rights of minority shareholders. This Corporate Governance digital platform has been envisioned to equip shareholders of corporates and businesses with the necessary information, learning modules, and training resources to promote sound corporate governance practices. The platform will be implemented as a joint venture of PICG and CDC, leveraging the domain expertise of PICG in the realm of corporate governance and the technical and operational expertise of CDC in implementing and operating state of the art national level digital platforms. The MoU Signing Ceremony was held on 5th October 2023 at the CDC House, Karachi.

At the occasion, describing the features of the upcoming platform, CEO-CDC Mr. Badiuddin Akber said that “This platforms aims to enrich the corporate governance practices in Pakistan by effecting their implementation in true letter and spirit while leveraging the power of technology to provide a convenient, informative and interactive medium for shareholders to learn about and engage effectively in sound corporate governance practices. The system is envisioned to effect the protection of rights of minority shareholders along with active involvement of shareholders in corporate governance decisions. CDC remains committed in its vision for market development and stakeholder facilitation by spearheading the digitization drive.”

Mr. Memosh Khawaja, President CEO PICG, applauded the efforts of CDC in its vision towards stakeholder facilitation and said that this joint initiative will pave the way for the much needed active engagement of shareholders towards corporate governance decisions. Mr. Memosh Khawaja, while addressing the occasion, commented that, “Currently, there is a general lack of awareness and limited understanding among shareholders, especially minority shareholders, regarding their rights in the corporate governance practices, resulting in their reduced participation in decision making, vulnerability to manipulation and exploitation of shareholder rights. The proposed portal aims to foster increased shareholder engagement in governance matters by facilitating greater awareness and knowledge.”

The event was attended by the senior management of both the organizations.  

Finance Minister launches “Centralized Gateway Platform” developed by CDC under the regulatory impetus by SECP

Karachi: 21st Sept 2023 With the objective of making investment easier and more accessible for investors in multiple types of assets, CDC has successfully implemented a Centralized Gateway Platform (CGP) under the regulatory impetus of the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).  The CGP solution will help investors in on-boarding for diverse investment avenues (such as stocks, mutual funds, insurance products, etc.) using a centralized platform wherein they can maintain a standardized profile, KYC/AML procedures and leverage the platform to proceed for investment in diverse asset classes without having to undergo repetitive on-boarding processes with each financial institution. Even for any subsequent updates, investors will only update their CGP profile, and CGP will accordingly update all relevant Financial Institutions, thus minimizing investor’s efforts while ensuring synchronization of information in a seamless manner.

As a unique initiative in Pakistan’s financial landscape, “The Centralized Gateway Portal” has been formally inaugurated by the Federal Minister for Finance—Dr. Shamshad Akhtar and Honorable Chairman SECP—Mr. Akif Saeed in a launch ceremony at CDC House, Karachi, on the 21st of September 2023. The solution has been implemented by CDC with the support of other entities, including PSX, NCCPL, MUFAP, IAP and PSBA. The platform is envisioned to greatly help financial institutions by reducing the costs and complexities associated with onboarding their clients. CGP’s features include state-of-the-art tools for KYC/CDD and a uniform, synchronized and latest KYC and AML framework with AI based algorithms. It will provide financial service providers with the indicative risk rating to help them in making informed decisions. The CGP will function as a centralized repository for all data and documents, and eliminate the requirement for Financial Institutions to retain the documents with them, thereby reducing their storage requirements.

While officiating the event, Honorable Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue—Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said, “The Centralized Gateway Platform, which has been implemented as a centralized investor on-boarding platform, is a very important and timely initiative by SECP and very well executed by CDC. It is very important for our economy that we should introduce such novel concepts which will promote the investment culture in Pakistan and provide an easy and standardized platform to enable the investors to make hassle-free on-boarding in their respective investment journeys, while eliminating cumbersome and repetitive processes.”

While addressing the occasion, Mr. Akif Saeed—Chairman SECP said, “It is indeed a very important milestone for the Pakistan’s financial landscape to have a consolidated on-boarding platform. The solution is a technology-based enabler that, along with investor education and awareness and independent securities advisors, should increase the depth and breadth of our market. Once successfully implemented, it can be expanded to the entire financial sector. Capital market infrastructure institutions like CDC, NCCPL & PSX need to focus on initiatives that make our market transparent, vibrant and robust.”

Mr. Moin Fudda, Chairman of CDC’s Board of Directors, gave a welcome address to the guests. At the occasion, while describing the objectives of the platform, Mr. Badiuddin Akber—CEO CDC said, “In line with international best practices, the Centralized Gateway Platform has been developed by CDC with the vision to effect ease of doing business and promote the investment culture by leveraging a centralized source of information, screening and subsequent profile updates. CDC will continue to play its role as an ENABLER and is committed towards providing innovative tech-based platforms to Pakistan’s financial landscape, through which all stakeholders can leverage CDC’s technological edge to scale their efficiency and outreach.”

The event was also attended by significant stakeholders of Pakistan’s financial eco-system, all of whom lauded CDC’s efforts in undertaking this initiative and playing its role for market development.

CDC partners to organize Pakistan’s First Islamic Capital Market Conference hosted by SECP and AAOIFI

On May 29, 2023, Central Depository Company (CDC) collaborated with the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to host Pakistan’s First Islamic Capital Market Conference in Islamabad.  

The conference brought together a diverse array of attendees, including government representatives, local experts, foreign delegates, and distinguished veterans of the Pakistan Capital Market. The event provided a platform for guests to share their feedback and insights on global best practices adopted in the Islamic Finance industry for investment opportunities that align with Islamic Shariah, and the development of a roadmap for the transformation of Pakistan’s non-banking financial sector in accordance with the global best practices in Islamic Finance.

Mr. Badiuddin Akbar, CEO of Central Depository Company (CDC), moderated a Panel Discussion on Transforming Pakistan’s Non-Bank Financial Sector at this inaugural conference on Islamic Capital Markets. The panel discussion imparted visionary insight from leaders in the global Islamic Financial Markets regarding the reforms needed for the development of a complete and sustainable Islamic finance industry.

Overall, the first Islamic Capital Market Conference in Pakistan was a resounding success, showcasing the industry’s commitment to fostering innovation and growth while aligning the processes and practices in accordance with global best practices in the Islamic World. CDC is proud to have played a role in making this event a reality and looks forward to continued collaboration in Pakistan and across the global Islamic finance community.  

Japanese Consul General in Karachi visits Central Depository Company

A delegation from the Japanese Consulate in Karachi, headed by Honourable Odagiri Toshio San, Consul General of Japan in Karachi visited the Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC) on December 06, 2022. Representatives from Pakistan Japan Business Forum and leading Pakistani corporates also attended this event.

Mr. Moin M. Fudda – Chairman CDC welcomed the delegation and spoke about the long term bilateral relations between Japan & Pakistan while stressing on the need to foster greater ties on business and trade initiatives. Mr. Badiuddin Akber – CEO-CDC presented an overview of the Pakistan Capital Market landscape and CDC’s key role in its development as an integral infrastructure institution that handles the settlement and custody of securities, while highlighting the association between CDC and Japan Securities Depositories Center, Inc. (JASDEC), which is CDC’s counterpart from the Japanese Capital Market.

Japanese Consul General Odagiri Toshio San lauded CDC on its achievements in transforming the Pakistani Capital Market. He said that “It is important to work further on bringing the the two sides closer together for the benefit of both countries. Japan and Pakistan should bring together expertise and technology, particularly for bigger future projects through more effective Public Private Partnerships.”

Mr. Kalim Farooqui – Chairman Pakistan Japan Business Forum (PBJF) – also applauded the efforts of CDC in the development of Pakistan’s Capital Market and highlighted that CDC has been a success story for Pakistan’s business landscape. He stressed on the need to scale up the efforts to strengthen the business ties between Pakistan and Japan for mutual benefit and progress.

The event was attended by prominent Industry leaders, including Dr. Shamshad Akhtar – Chairperson Pakistan Stock Exchange and Mr. Irfan Siddiqui – Managing Director Meezan Bank Limited.

CDC and CDNS signs MoU for the issuance of digital Savings Certificates

Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) and Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for mutually collaborating to convert and issue National Savings Certificates (NSCs) in digital form to reduce physical process flows of different transactions and develop a systematic framework through which NSCs can be inducted into the Central Depository System (CDS).

While addressing the occasion, DG CDNS, Mr. Hamid Raza commented that “The initiative is in line with CDNS’s ultimate objective of the digitization of National Savings Certificates. The recent circumstances with the shift to digitization make it all the more exigent for CDNS to undergo complete digital transformation. This platform will facilitate investors of National Savings Certificates, making it easier for them to invest in and maintain their NSCs in electronic format, thereby promoting and harvesting the savings culture in Pakistan at the grass root level.”
He said the pivotal role of innovation in economic development is undeniable, with advancements in Fintech leading the change. Innovative tech-based processes can lead to higher productivity, reduced turnaround times, lower costs and wider outreach.
At the occasion, describing the objectives of the project, CEO-CDC Mr. Badiuddin Akber said that “The core objective of establishing a Depository in Pakistan was to dematerialize all types of financial instruments in Pakistan. Considering this as our ultimate vision, we have dematerialized almost all types of securities in Pakistan; however, National Savings Certificates are one major aspect yet to be dematerialized. As the Depository, we feel that it is our National duty to bring our processes at par with the international best practices, and it is indeed the need of the hour that a mechanism must be developed for investors to have NSCs in book-entry form.”

Through this project, CDC will facilitate Investors, with investment in a diverse array of securities, to maintain their complete portfolio of dematerialized securities in a single account at CDC. This project will eliminate the risk of theft, loss, mutilation, etc. as well as the hassle of printing, dispatching, maintenance, etc. of physical certificates by maintaining the NSCs in electronic format in the CDS. CDC will extend the same benefits to CDNS investors as it currently provides to investors of book-entry securities in the CDS, including easy, efficient and secure transfer process for certificates, online account access and pledging facilities. At present, CDC Account can be opened through CDC offices or through digital portal of CDC from anywhere in Pakistan; however, both organizations will also work on the possibility of opening of CDC accounts through the nationwide network of CDNS offices in order to make it more convenient for investors to open CDC Account and hold National Savings certificates in digital form.
The event was also attended and addressed by Chairman CDC – Mr. Moin Fudda. The event was also attended by the senior management of CDC and CDNS.