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KESC Privatisation Delayed

ISLAMABAD (October 31 2002) : The Privatisation Commission has delayed the sale of 74 percent stake in Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) as the pre-qualified bidders wanted more time to assess the political government, sources said.

The sale, which was earlier planned before the general elections on October 10, has been delayed until March or April next year to give time to the bidders to judge the formation of next government.

AES Corporation of America and ABB Limited from Switzerland were among the bidders that submitted their expressions of interest to buy the stake. However, sources said that ABB Limited has been pre-qualified by the privatisation commission.

The Asian Development Bank has also said that it may also buy 8 percent of KESC to encourage investors to buy the controlling stake in the company. It said that it may go for bidding if investors were reluctant to buy the controlling stakes.

Altaf Saleem said KESC is losing 50 million rupees a day because of line losses and other problems in the company; therefore, the government is keen to hand it over to the private sector.

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