Chairman of the Jordan Securities Commission (JSC) Bassam Saket on Sunday said that Jordan is keen to undertake “positive changes” in the stock market in a bid to speed up economic growth.
Addressing the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Emerging Markets Committee Meeting hosted by the JSC, which included participants from over 70 countries, Saket indicated that major reform steps have been introduced to enhance the activity of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE).
“Key regulatory market infrastructure and market practice reforms have been made to ensure that it is fair, efficient and transparent,” Saket told the conference, which was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Ra'd Ben Zeid who deputized for His Majesty King Abdullah.
“We encourage our society to embrace and become more aware of equity and securities culture, more receptive to new investment standards so our market becomes more rewarding for investors,” the JSC chairman told the gathering.
Among the changes the Amman bourse has witnessed is the introduction of the 1997 Securities Law, which stipulated the introduction of the JSC, the ASE and the Securities Depository Center (SDC), Saket said.
The JSC was assigned the task of introducing necessary changes in the bourse which included the licensing of financial services and certified financial professionals in addition to regulating the disclosure of information about the firms listed on the ASE, Saket, a former minister, said.
He indicated that the JSC has received technical and financial assistance from the UK, US and France to upgrade the performance of the ASE.
Chairman of the Technical Committee of IOSCO David A. Brown told the participants that national regulators in emerging markets have “to review how we function effectively in a global market.”
Brown said that among the major factors that enhanced the work of bourses in the emerging markets were the elimination of capital control, the growing trend of financial institutions operating on a global basis and the break down of barriers between financial sectors and the spread of communication technology.
“People will invest as widely as technology allows, and as the law permits,” Brown said.
“This trend is escalated by the Internet, which does not recognize physical boundaries and which obscures political jurisdiction that have traditionally made regulation viable,” he added.
Among the topics that will be discussed at the IOSCO meeting are investment management, enforcement and exchange of information, regulation of financial intermediaries and the regulation of secondary markets.
It will also discuss the impact of the privatization process on the activities of the stock markets and the influence of the Internet on the bourses of the emerging markets.
According to recent information from the ASE, its market capitalization is $5 billion, which represents 67 per cent of the country's gross domestic product. At least 163 firms are listed on the ASE.
Saket said that the JSC is seeking the removal of the remaining few restrictions on foreign ownership “which will enhance foreign investments in the Kingdom.” — ( Jordan Times )
By Tareq Ayyoub
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)