SSGC IPO in next two weeks

KARACHI (January 13 2004): The Ministry of Privatisation and Investment would make Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Sui Southern Gas Company's shares in the next two weeks.

This was stated by Minister for Privatisation and Investment, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here on Monday while replying to newsmen's queries after inaugurating the year-long ceremonies of Kodak Company on completion of its 75 years of operation in the sub-continent.

The minister also announced that the initial public offering (IPO) of UBL will also be made soon.

The Privatisation Commission is also working on the IPOs of Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Kot Adu Power Company, Pakistan International Airline, likely to be offered in the next four months.

“However, with regard to Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, we are still sorting out the matters and could talk about it on my next visit to the city (Karachi),” he added.

Dr Hafeez said, “In (context of) strategic sale, Pakistan State Oil, Faisalabad Electric Company, Jamshoro Power Plant, National Investment Trust (NIT) and some others were also being processed for privatisation, while official trading of OGDC would start from next week, he added.

He said, “We are going ahead with the privatisation program in a systematic way, observing complete transparency,” and added that this has raised the image of the country abroad.

About privatisation of Habib Bank, he said it was a very good transaction, appreciated internationally. “The good thing is that it is a joint public-private partnership.”

He said the privatisation of HBL would help in earning revenue and that would also help reducing foreign debts.

He hoped that like other privatised banks this would also give better results.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the atmosphere in Pakistan was conducive for investment as the international environment has improved a lot.

“Within a year, the conditions in Afghanistan have improved and now reconstruction process has started there while peace talks are going on with our eastern neighbour,” he said, adding that “this is the right time to send a message to the world that Pakistan is a good place to invest.”

He said that presently there are over 600 multinational companies operating in Pakistan and the return on their investments also ranges from 20 to 60 percent.

He said: “We have stable government for the last four years which has maintained consistency in policies which brought stability in economy of the country. There might be certain forces in the world which do not want Pakistan to become an economically stable country. Therefore, we should counter such negative perceptions.”

Dr Hafeez said that the country's GDP has registered growth of 5 percent; its exports have crossed $ 12 billion; and foreign exchange reserves have also touched $ 12 billion. “Yet we have to generate more and more economic activities creating job opportunities and alleviating poverty.”

The General Manager of Kodak Pakistan, Syed Awais Ahmed, said, “Today, as a multinational investor serving the nation for 75 years, the company has set a remarkable example for other foreign investors that Pakistan is indeed a good investment proposition.”

Kodak has captured historic moments of Pakistan from Independence to the recently concluded 12th Saarc Summit. “We are equally proud to be there when country's heroes were creating history–from politics and sports to films, music, health and culture. Kodak has captured those magical moments,” he added.

“We are proud to be associated with Pakistan from Day One of its life,” he said, adding that his company, in view of decaying photo studio business in Pakistan, had launched a program under which it provided 150 modern mini-labs to the studio owners across the country on “Earn and Pay Basis” that has borne positive results.

In future, the company plans to carry out this project through financial arrangement with the banks, he added.

Kodak Pakistan's educational programmes in which the company is introducing one-year diploma programme in photography is also under process with the help of Virtual University.

Besides, the company is introducing green x-ray films to replace blue x-ray films in hospitals to reduce the radiation effects on patients by 50 percent.

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