Transparent privatisation policy in place: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the government upholds a very transparent policy of privatisation, which is aimed at converting organizations into profit making entities and reducing burden on government exchequer. While elaborating other issues taken up in Thursday’s Cabinet Committee on Privatisation meeting, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the participants that 31 public sector entities were approved for fast-track privatisation by the previous government.  “The present government is following the same list. UBL, PPL, OGDCL are the first to be privatised. The UBL deal is the first success story, which will be followed by PPL and OGDCL soon.” The prime minister concedes the efforts of the finance minister for dis-investment of 19.8% of GOP shares of United Bank Limited. The prime minister was informed that there was unprecedented interest from both the domestic as well as foreign buyers and the UBL deal was oversubscribed by almost 2 times. More than 40 of the world’s leading equity funds including Templeton, Wellington, Everest, Lazard, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, etc participated in the UBL share transaction. The total demand received from the domestic investors was Rs 12.3 billion, which is one of the highest in terms of domestic demand in Pakistan’s capital market history. Dar further informed the PM that the transaction would raise equivalent of $387 million, out of which $310 million would be foreign exchange component, while the remaining amount was the rupee component. He said that 90 percent of the proceeds would be used for debt retirement and 10% for poverty reduction. 

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