ISLAMABAD: To promote different modes of financing and investment avenues, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued a guidance paper detailing mechanics and elements for issuance of Convertible Debt Securities (CDS).

CDS is a hybrid instrument having both debt and equity features. Initially it is a fixed-income security that yields interest payments and subsequently can be converted into a specified number of equity shares.

The conversion from debt security to shares can be done at certain times during the instrument’s life and is usually at the discretion of the security holder/investor.

Investors in CDS can benefit from a steady income stream (payment of coupon/profit rate) and repayment of principal at maturity, while retaining the option to share in potentially higher equity values, if the conversion option is exercised.

There is a global surge in issuance of CDS due to low cost involved.

Around $92 billion of convertible securities were issued in the first half of the calendar year 2020 globally.

However, Pakistan has not witnessed CDS issuance by public listed companies barring a few banks that used these instruments for meeting their Tier I and II capital requirements.

The guidance paper mainly covers features of CDS, its benefits to investors, opportunities for issuers, criteria for issuance of these and steps involved. As a part of capital market development, SECP will be conducting webinars for creating awareness among potential issuers and other stakeholders relating to issuance of CDS.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021

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