Top level changes in PTCL
KARACHI, Sept 18: Etisalat – the UAE-controlled telecom giant – which holds 26 per cent equity with management rights in the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) could not have more forcefully expressed its distaste for the company’s latest financial results.
The PTCL on Thursday last reported earnings drop by 25 per cent and decrease in net revenues by six per cent for the year ended June 30, 2007 compared to the previous year.
While a Dubai-based newspaper quoted Jamal al-Jarwan, Etisalat’s chief executive for international investments, as saying that the principal planned to cut staff at PTCL, and the process had already started with top of the line changes on Tuesday. Chairman Mr Farrakh Qayyum was replaced by Mr Hifz-ur-Rehman and director Mr Ahmad Waqar was appointed in place of Mr Tanwir Ali Agha from Sept 14.
Mr Hifz-ur-Rehman holds the portfolio of Secretary of Information Technology, Ministry of Information and Technology, Government of Pakistan and Mr Ahmad Waqar sits in the chair of Secretary of Finance, Ministry of Finance.
The company did not say whether the change was performance-based or a result of ever-shuffling of places in government departments.
The PTCL has 65,000 employees on its rolls. If reports circulating in the industry are to be believed, Etisalat is planning downsizing by as much as 40 per cent.
The Emirates-based principal has also expressed interest in raising its stake in the PTCL to 51 per cent.
While the latter would attract more FDI into the country, the decision of mammoth job cuts would go to swell the ranks of the unemployed.
The government must intervene as much as would be permitted in the ‘free market economy’.
ENGRO: The Engro Chemicals is in the final stages of achieving ‘financial close’ for its new fertiliser and the power plants which sources watching the events said could be announced in the next two-three weeks.
As part of its expansion plans, the company is constructing a fertiliser plant to produce 1.3 million tons of urea per annum at an estimated cost of US$1 billion. The plant is to be constructed adjacent to the existing plant at Daharki.
The government had earlier awarded Letter of Acceptance for 100 mmcfd of gas from Qadirpur Gas Field for new plant.
Analysts say that when completed, Ammonia Urea Plant expansion project would raise the company’s market share for urea from 13pc currently to 35pc in 2011.
Concurrently, the company’s subsidiary Engro Energy Ltd. (EEL), which would run a 220MW capacity Independent Power Project (IPP) is also close to attain ‘financial close’.
The PPIB had earlier approved the feasibility of EEL, which would be constructed at Qadirpur. EEL has obtained tariff determination from Nepra.
Industry watchers say that the awaited negotiations of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) have been completed and the company’s top brass has recently returned from Middle East where they are understood to have finalised negotiations with lenders.