58 enterprises to be privatised: Waqar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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58 enterprises to be privatised: Waqar

LAHORE: The cabinet has approved to privatise 58 state-run enterprises and the process will be completed in nine months, Federal Minister for Investment and Privatisation Senator Waqar Ahmad was quoted by a private TV channel as saying on Friday.

“Basically, we want to take this approach for privatisation on a fast track,” Waqar said after a meeting with Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) officials. He said that meetings were being held with financial institutions and that foreign and strategic investors were eager to invest in Pakistan due to its “investment-friendly policies”.

He said that a cabinet meeting had discussed the restructuring of several institutions two weeks ago, including the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills and PEPCO, and suggested for transparent formation of boards to restructure loss-incurring institutions.

Annual loss: The minister said that Pakistan was bearing an annual loss of around $3 billion. “If these institutions are converted into profitable entities, they can contribute to the national exchequer,” he said.

“The Nomura Bank has offered a convertible bond at about 7.75 percent for the Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL),” Waqar said, adding that the bond was five-to-six percent less than Pakistan’s sovereign bond.

The minister said the country had requested quotations from other financial institutions as well, adding, “if they do the same, we will materialise it within four-to-five weeks and this convertible bond will be worth $400 to $500”.
Source: Daily Times
Date:3/6/2010