Functional websites mandatory for firms
(DAWN) – The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has decided to make mandatory for all the listed companies to maintain functional websites to improve flow of information for the share holders.
The SECP commission is expected to notify the new requirement in the coming week, after which over 73 per cent of the listed companies in the country will be required to develop their functional website. Currently, there are 524 listed companies in the country 225 have web presence but only 142 have a functional portal.
However, it has been proposed that the requirement be enforced from March 2012,so that the companies have adequate time to make necessary preparations.
An official of the SECP said that the requirement was in line with current global technological development, to give shareholders access to information. It is a cost-effective measure for dissemination of material information.
“The corporate sector regulator had advised the listed companies in 2003 to maintain their websites and now it is time to enforce it,” said a senior official of the commission.
According to the SECP, the companies needed to incorporate in the website vision, mission and scope and details of business activities, annual reports for the current financial year and the previous two years, interim accounts.
The companies will have to post their earning per share, P/E ratio as per latest available yearly financial statements, board of directors and shareholding pattern, name of share registrar, detail of associated companies and their website linkif available.
The websites of the companies needed to have detailed site map, addresses of registered office, head office, contact details, online forms for assisting and handling investor grievances including reference to SECP complaint address.
The companies would also be required to post their recognitions at the website, including national and international awards
and membership of industry associations and trade bodies and relevant weblinks. The official websites of the listed companies should also have media portals containing published news items and clarifications regarding the company.
The SECP directive to be notified in the next commission meeting has demanded the listed companies to display the date when the website was updated.
An official of the SECP said: “It is mutually beneficial way for the companies and shareholders because websites are the most cost-effective platform to provide relevant information to shareholders and the investors.”
The proposal to maintain a functional website for all listed companies has been forwarded by the company law division of the SECP.
It has also been highlighted that relevant practice is observed in India, UK, USA, Australia and even Kenya.