SECP orders stockbrokers investigated for market manipulation

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan on Saturday announced it had ordered an investigation into brokers suspected of market manipulation on Pakistan’s stock exchange.

It did not name the brokers, but issued a strongly worded statement describing their tactics to manipulate prices on the Pakistan Stock Exchange over several years.

“These securities brokers deliberately interfered with the workings of the market to defraud investors,” it said in a statement.

It said the brokers entered bids and offers with the prior intent of cancelling them before trade execution, commonly known as “spoofing”, to create the false appearance of market activity.

The benchmark KSE100 is up 3.97 per cent in 2017, closing at 49708 on Friday.

Last month the first meeting of the exchange’s reconstituted board of directors was held, with four seats occupied by a Chinese consortium that holds 40 per cent equity in the bourse, after completion of a divestment.

Last year the bourse was restored to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, giving it a wider range of potential investors than as a Frontier Market.

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