South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE), a regional forum of exchanges and regulated entities, has elected Joseph Massey, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MCX Stock Exchange, as Chairman.
Massey, who takes over the reins of the regional body from Mr. Adnan Afridi, Managing Director of Karachi Stock Exchange, was elected head of SAFE at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Mauritius on April 24, 2010. The AGM coincided with the South Asian Capital Markets Conference, which was attended by over 150 delegates from various countries.
Massey’s election to the regional body comes at a time when South Asian financial markets are experiencing a rapid growth in size, scope and significance.
A region where seven out of eight countries are currently experiencing a real GDP growth of over 6 per cent with India leading at 8 per cent, South Asia is one of the most vibrant and dynamic regions in the world. South Asia’s economic growth in 2011 is expected to be clear 5 percentage points higher than that of the world average and nearly two percentage points greater than developing countries.
South Asia also came out strongly in terms of domestic macroeconomic stability and external strength. During the period 1990 and 2008, external debt as a percentage of gross national income fell from 31.6% to 21.3%; debt service to exports declined from 27.4% to 14.4%; short-term debt to external debt fell from 9.8% to 3.8%; reserves to external debt surged from 6.5% to 29.3% and reserves to imports shot up from 1.9 months to 4.8 months.
The most promising aspect of the South Asia is its financial sector. According to the recent Global Development Finance of the World Bank, 78.5% of the change in the growth rate of potential output during the period 2003-07 was contributed by deepening of the financial sector. Between 2000 and 2007, in South Asia, private credit by banks as a percentage of GDP rose from 25.6% to 40.4% and stock market capitalisation from 26.1% to 133.4% -- growth rates that surpassed averages of most of the region.
Net capital flows into the region