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SECP, IFC and PICG Launch Corporate Governance Survey

ISLAMABAD (October 03 2006): The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) on Monday launched a country-wide corporate governance survey to collect benchmark information for improving corporate governance, particularly in local companies and banks.

ACCA Pakistan, which has extensive international experience and corporate governance expertise, will be conducting the survey on behalf of IFC, SECP and P1CG.

The baseline data will serve as a reference point to undertake corporate governance reforms in the country. The survey is the initiative of IFC's 'Pakistan Corporate Governance Project' and part of its efforts to promote corporate governance.

SECP Chairman Razi-ur-Rahman Khan said on this occasion that ensuring good corporate governance remained a key area of focus for SECP as it had been actively involved in new initiatives towards improving transparency through disclosure of financial reporting of companies.

“While the Code of Corporate Governance has, to an extent, achieved the objective of establishing a system whereby a company is directed and controlled by its directors in accordance with the best practices so as to safeguard the interests of diversified stakeholders, we believe corporate governance to be a constant challenge and issue. We hope that this survey would provide insight into the extent to which companies adopt good corporate governance principles and practices in their true spirit, as such laying much of the foundation for future corporate governance reforms in the country”, he added.

Zahid Zaheer, CEO of PICG, said: “We believe that good corporate governance practices are essential to gain investor confidence and develop a sound business sector. The international financial community is now well aware of the importance of implementing higher standards of governance. As a result, we are pleased to commission this survey, which will aim at developing a benchmark of the corporate governance of companies and banks in Pakistan.

Key areas, which the survey will focus on, include: levels of commitment to corporate governance; board composition and responsibilities; shareholders' rights, transparency and financial disclosure.”

Kaiser Naseem, IFC's Pakistan Corporate Governance Project Manager, said: “The purpose of the survey is to determine the existing level of corporate governance practices among banks and companies in Pakistan, and to benchmark these practices against international reference points for good corporate governance; and finally offer recommendations for improvements and reform. The survey is intended to serve as a basis for both private and public sectors to advance corporate governance reforms in Pakistan.”

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