State Bank to chalk out ABL shares sell-off plan

ISLAMABAD (September 18 2003): The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP), which met here on Wednesday with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz in the chair, directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to chalk out a schedule to divest Allied Bank's (ABL) 49 percent shares through opening bidding.

A SBP representative gave a detailed presentation to the committee on the present status of ABL.

The committee was informed that 12 EoIs have been received for the ABL from commercial banks, DFIs, investment banks and leasing companies.

Later, Privatisation Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told newsmen after addressing a BoI seminar on investment opportunities and BoI's role, that the committee has set a deadline of December 31 to offload 49 percent ABL shares through open bidding.

He said that ABL, being a profit making bank, would get good offer from the bidders.

The minister said that the committee had approved Privatisation Commission's proposal to review offer for Thatta Cement after formal request of the highest bidder Haji Saifullah Group that it wanted to raise the offer.

According to the minister, both parties, Haji Saifullah Group and Abbas Group of Companies, would be provided a chance through bidding to raise the offers.

The committee also approved the sale of assets of Associated Cement Rohri Limited (ACRL) to National Transport Company (NTC) for Rs 255 million.

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