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Oil & Gas Development Corporation, Habib Bank shares may be sold through bourses

KARACHI (November 29 2002) : The government might sell shares in Oil & Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) and Habib Bank Ltd., through stock market before offering any block deal or strategic sale following the approval of the Privatisation Commission.

Moin Fudda, Managing Director of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), met Shaukat Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Economic Affairs, on Wednesday in Islamabad.

Fudda said that during the meeting several matters relating to development of the capital market were discussed. He said he has invited Shaukat Aziz to visit the KSE and apprise the members of the Exchange about the policies of the newly elected government.

Shaukat Aziz is expected to visit the KSE on December 2, 2002.

Fudda said the advisor held out an assurance that the new government will continue the economic reforms and will accelerate the pace of privatisation.

He said that the Exchange has requested the government that before selling shares of the state-owned companies, the government should sell some portion of the entities through stock market. The advisor replied that the government would look into the proposal.

Fudda said: “There is a possibility that shares of Oil and Gas Development Corporation and Habib Bank would be transacted through the local bourses.

The KSE managing director said that one of the main objectives of the management of the Exchange is to broaden the retail base. “Steps are taken to boost the confidence of the investors.”

He pointed that the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan after strenuous efforts have prepared a 'margin financing' plan to be incorporated at the stock market.

The new procedure on margin financing needs approval from the ministry of finance, and its implementation will help boost investment at the capital market besides protecting the interest of retail investors.

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