Privatisation Commission to sell shares of public entities through stock exchange

ISLAMABAD (March 09 2003) : The Privatisation Commission (PC) has decided to divest shares of some major public sector entities through stock exchange.

The decision was taken in a meeting held to review the status and the progress of the privatisation under the chairmanship of Senator-elect Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, adviser to the prime minister on privatisation and investment, here on Saturday.

Hafeez said that the decision would help in deepening and broadening the base of the stock market and to facilitate the common man for participation in the privatisation process.

These entities include National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Pakistan International Airlines Company (PIAC), Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of two unlisted companies namely Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL).

The percentage of the shares proposed to de divested will be announced after the consideration and approval of the PC board and Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP).

The PC has received over Rs 2.8 billion through the divestment of Government of Pakistan shares in ARL, POL and D.G. Khan Cement during the last 10 weeks.

Referring to the bidding of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) as scheduled on April 26, 2003, the meeting was told that all the outstanding issues, including the one relating to receivables would be resolved prior to the bidding.

It was decided in the meeting to hold the bidding of Investment Corporation of Pakistan-Small Enterprises Mutual Fund (SEMF) on March 22, 2003.

Shaukat stressed upon the PC to take effective measures to accelerate the pace of privatisation of public sector entities in an open and transparent manner.

The meeting also finalised the agenda for the Privatisation Commission board meeting, which is expected to meet within the next two weeks.

The meeting was also informed that the proposals made by the Financial Adviser for KESC Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PWC), were under active review.

The meeting held a detailed review of the transactions, including Pak Arab Fertilizers, Pak American Fertilizers, Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, National Construction Company (NCC), the cement plants at Thatta and A.C. Rohri, Felatti's Hotel, Lahore, SNGPL, SSGC, PSO, PTCL, KESC, Habib Bank Limited, Wapda's distribution companies Fesco, Pesco and a generation unit of Jamshoro Power Company.

Senior officials and consultants of the PC attended the meeting.

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