Updated Apr 7, 20

With a view to prepare youth for better understanding of economic affairs, Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE) is holding first-ever nationwide awareness campaign about the financial market.

"Campus Outreach Programme" under the broader Financial Literacy Initiative has been launched by the LSE in collaboration with South Asian Federation of Exchange (SAFE).

The LSE under this initiative will be conducting on-campus educational sessions, followed by practical exposure of students to the financial products/services through visits/interactions with financial institutions and encouraging participation in the financial system through games and internship programme.

Inculcating widespread financial literacy/ awareness about stock exchanges is the need of the hour, so the campus outreach programme must target all universities in Pakistan to develop responsible financial behaviour amongst the younger students in Pakistan, Aftab Ahmad Chaudhry, the MD/CEO of Lahore Stock Exchange and Secretary General South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE), said.

According to him, the keen interest shown by the educational institutions was a proof that the programme was increasingly becoming very popular even in the areas where stock exchanges were located. The programme has offered a unique distinction to LSE to show its utmost interest in serving the information needs of the investors and to create basic awareness about the financial markets within our masses.

He said that as youngsters would constitute two thirds of the population of Pakistan in the coming decade, a specific programme targeting universities, colleges and schools students was the need of the hour. He said the objective of the briefing session served as a sensitisation process for the heads of schools, colleges, and universities of Islamabad and surrounding.

Under this programme, five unique learning activities are aimed to be provided to the students of each participating educational institution. The final activity shall be a four-week placement opportunity to be provided to the five best selected students at any one of the partnering financial services institution at Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.

MD LSE said that the programme is neither intended to promote or publicize any particular type of investment or product, nor is it aimed to endorse any specific kind of financial institution or market. He said that the only aim of the programme is to support the agenda of broader financial inclusion in our society through the spread of knowledge and awareness about the regulated financial markets.

Accordingly, he said that in order to achieve the objectives of the programme in a non-controversial manner, the programme does not involve any broker as a resource person so as to give a clear message to the students that there is no conflict of interest. He said that the cardinal principle for the participation of all potential sponsors/partners/promoters of the programme is to agree to support the COP related activities without any solicitation or promotion of their respective services/products/institutions, whatsoever.

MD LSE explained that SAFE is a cooperative platform of 34 capital market institutions from Saarc and surrounding regions launched by the bourses in South Asia with a purpose to promote the development and harmonization of the securities markets in the region.

SAFE is not for profit association having recognized body status of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), and is a network exchange association of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).

SAFE stands to prepare and position its member markets for their orderly integration into the global financial system by enhancing the depth, inter-connectivity, integrity, and transparency of its member markets.

Since its inception, SAFE has worked to become a focused platform for the representatives of the exchange industry and other capital market related institutions of the region. Additionally, the federation has also provided a channel through which the individual stock exchanges continue to find opportunities for cooperation. The permanent Secretariat of SAFE is located at Islamabad, and works as an independent secretariat of the federation. The secretariat activities are handled and managed by Aftab Ahmad Chaudhry.

Mr. Chaudhry said that providing adequate skills to the youngsters to enable them to play an active part in financial and economic development of the country were becoming a global phenomenon.