Habib Bank sold to Aga Khan Fund

ISLAMABAD (January 02 2004): The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP), which met here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, approved the recommendations of PC Board for approval of the highest bid of Rs 22.409 billion of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED).

It declared the party as successful bidder for acquiring 51 percent share in the Habib Bank Limited (HBL), biggest strategic sale in the history of Pakistan's privatisation.

The price offered is higher than the minimum acceptable price/value of the bank determined by the government.

The CCoP commended the smooth and transparent handling of the HBL transaction by the Privatisation Commission under the supervision of Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and appreciated the interest of two high quality and prestigious investors, which reflected their confidence in the economic and investment policies and reform process initiated and maintained by the government.

In addition to the Privatisation Commission, the CCoP also thanked other stakeholders, including the management of HBL, Finance Division and the State Bank of Pakistan for extending their full co-operation to the Commission for the transaction.

It was observed that this transaction proved better co-ordination among various government agencies.

The committee observed that the valuable exercise was conducted by technical experts of the Commission.

It noted that two competitive offers by highly reputable groups was a sign of a very successful transaction.

The CCoP considered that the success of the HBL transaction would augur well for other major upcoming transactions.

It opined that HBL was expected to be run more efficiently by AKFED, and it would improve the value of 49 percent balance shares of the government.

The federal ministers, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Liaquat Ali Jatoi, Chaudhry Nouraiz Shakoor, and federal secretaries of the respective ministries, senior officials of the Finance Division, Privatisation Commission, the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan attended the meeting.

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