SSGC clarifies news of baseless allegation of inside trading by its Director

167 clarifies news of baseless allegation of inside trading

KARACHI (PR): This is with reference to a news item that appeared in a certain section of the press where serious allegations were made on one of the honorable directors and on the entire board of SSGC. The news item, flawed and misleading by every count, alleged without verifying the facts that the Director Mr. Raziuddin Monem had bought 200,000 shares of the Company in the name of his wife, which could be tantamount to insider trading.

The news item went on further by making a totally flawed sweeping statement that the Government of Pakistan appoints eight board members of SSGC ‘that mostly consist of supporters of the political party in power. The fact of the matter is that none of the Company’s Board members has any political affiliation whatsoever. The Directors are in fact appointed by the Ministry of Energy through press advertisements and nominations, subsequently elected at the Annual General Meeting of the shareholders for a period of three years. The news item also incorrectly states that these ‘directors charge a hefty fee, while the fact of the matter is that the fee is fixed in accordance with the Company’s Articles and Memorandum of Association.

The news item went on to make a baseless and deceptive assertion that the Director bought 200,000 shares of the Company in the name of his wife ‘on the basis of the knowledge he gained while being on the Board’ when the High Court overturned an OGRA decision and gave SSGC a reprieve of 18% UFG on imported RLNG. This is a flawed allegation since, be it the court proceedings or OGRA’s hearing, all are conducted before the general public and are thus public information. In addition, OGRA’s decision too will not have any significant impact on the financial bottom-line of the Company since the consequence of the decision is to the extent of UFG allowance on RLNG which is less than 10% of the total gas supplies of SSGC.

Before filing his story, the reporter of the news item enquired two things from SSGC. Firstly, he asked whether intimation to SECP about Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision on imported RLNG UFG will have a positive impact on the Company’s financial health and secondly, wouldn’t purchase of shares by a Board member come under the ambit of insider trading?

As communicated to the reporter, the disclosure of material information regarding IHC decisions related to RLNG prices as per ECC guidelines was publicly uploaded timely and appropriately on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) website on February 14, 2022. Moreover, there is no insider trading or non-compliance of the applicable regulatory framework as the Director has disclosed the said purchase of shares, timely and appropriately on the same day i.e. on February 21, 2022, and it was timely and appropriately disclosed/reported to PSX on the next day i.e. February 22 by SSGC. The Director also completed the statutory filing requirements, which are being submitted to SECP.

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