In 1998-99, despite difficulties in finding potential and competent people, SEC has been able to make successful bids in filling up quite a number of posts created in its revised organizational strength that came into being in late 1997. Two posts of Executive Director, one post of Director and seven posts of Deputy Director have been filled in by recruiting a batch of fairly young professionals who have brought in not only energy and dynamism but also the much needed vision to take SEC into the new millenium with renewed pledge and revitalized vigour.
The last financial year (98-99) also saw SEC forging stronger and effeective ties with multilateral forum like International Organizations of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and capital market regulators of other countries particularly the regional ones. The closer and active cooperation with overseas institutions has provided SEC with and opportunity to impart training to its new recruits in order to give them an insight and right exposure to face the challenges ahead. Besides participation in the IOSCO training programs, SEC officials also attended on-the-job training programs organized by its counter-part capital market regulators in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and South Africa. Teams that visited regional regulatory bodies also included representatives of other government agencies like Finance Division, Economic Relations Division (ERD) and Planning Commission.
In 1998-99, SEC was provided with a budgetary allocation of Tk. 2.70 crore from the government exchequer that supported its expenditures incurred in discharging functional duties and responsibilities, meeting regular expenses and running the day-to-day affairs of the Commission. The just concluded fiscal year also identified SEC initiating its revenue generating activities by earning Tk. 14.93 lakhs. Though the amount earned through various fines and fees may not be found very significant, nonetheless, it demonstrates SEC’s commitment to the purposes it has been bestowed upon and its long-term goal to turn itself a self-financing organization in future.
In the last fiscal period, SEC had simultaneously run two technical assistance projects namely ‘Institutional Strengthening and Development of SEC’ and ‘Capacity Building of SEC and Stock Exchanges, Bangladesh’ financed by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) respectively. The UNDP-funded project has been successfully completed on 30th June 1999 under which legal infrastructure relating securities regulations has been improved with the compilation of existing laws in the form of a composite bill. Further improvement of laws/regulations in under process and is expected to completed under the on-going ADB-financed project. The extensive training programs undertaken for SEC officials both at home and abroad were also possible to be pursued due to generous allocation made in the UNDP-project for such purpose. The ADB-financed project which started in September 1998 seeks to achieve development of SEC and Stock Exchanges by addressing issues like further strengthening the legal regime of capital market, bringing technological advancement, introducing effective market mechanism for investors’ protection etc. In setting aims and objectives and their execution, both the projects have carefully avoided duplication and over-lapping of activities and tried to remain complementary to each other ensuring maximum benefits for the regulatory body and the bourses as well.
During the last fiscal, SEC has actively pursued its critical role in accomplishing the vital reforms that have been targeted under the Capital Market Development Loan Program of ADB for Bangladesh. The reforms include a wide array of law/regulation amendments and other measures to make SEC a collegial body, vest SEC with authorities over the content of companies` prospectus, upgrade accounting and auditing standards, increase accountability of stock exchanges by improving transparency and efficiency of their operations, raise minimum capital adequacy norms, raise qualification standards for membership at the stock exchanges, separate dealership from brokerage operations, establish central depository system (CDS), introduce investors` protection fund etc. SEC whole-heartedly supported these reforms and sincerely worked for their timely implementation as the successful implementation of these reforms will certainly have a far-reaching impact on our efforts to develop country’s capital market and will pave the way for pushing the whole capital market regime to the one of an international standard.
SEC, in an effort to combine the works of different departments and bring harmony in the organizational activities, holds weekly surveillance and coordination meetings. The surveillance meetings review the market situation, monitor the market trend, take note of any unusual movement in the share prices and address investors` complaints, if any. The coordination meetings, among other things, particularly discuss and review the progress of implementation of various administrative and development tasks pursued by the Commission at different points of time.