More Etisalat-PTCL talks to be held in near future

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Ministry of Privatisation and Investment and the Emirates Telecommunication Corporation have decided to hold another round of talks to discuss outstanding issues pertaining to the privatisation of 26 per cent shares of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) by Etisalat.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 16 Nov 2005, 9:53 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:17 PM

After a series of meetings held in Abu Dhabi, the two sides have concluded in principle that it was in the interest of both the parties to hold another round of meetings, stated an announcement jointly issued by the Pakistani and UAE governments here yesterday.

The official announcement has given no clue of the venue of the next meetings. However, sources said a delegation of Etisalat will visit Pakistan for holding talks and that it could be the final round.

The meetings will try to find a solution that could be acceptable to both sides, stated the official announcement.

The government has reportedly revised the payment schedule for the privatisation of PTCL to 20 months compared to the earlier three-month deadline.

The Privatisation Commission also completed a Rs20.24 billion sale of the 73 per cent shares of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to Saudi-led consortium in one of the country's troubled privatisation deals.

Privatisation and Investment Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and the executives of the Hassan Associates consortium hailed the sale as a landmark deal in the country's privatisation process in speeches at a ceremony where bid documents were signed and a letter of acceptance was issued.

"I think it will be a winning combination," Mr Sheikh said about the deal which followed a process spanning several months after the original highest bidder, Kanooz Al-Watan group of Saudi Arabia, had pulled out.

Hassan Associates, which includes Al-Jumaih group of Saudi Arabia, had made the second highest offer in the February 5 bidding but later agreed to match the Kanooz Al-Watan offer.

A Privatisation Commission statement said a recent meeting of the Federal Cabinet had accepted Hassan Associates' improved offer of Rs20.24 billion.

The commission said a letter of acceptance was issued to the consortium after receiving the first instalment of $100 million.

The group would deposit the remaining amount before the end of November to take control of the company which supplies electricity to Karachi, it added.

Mr Sheikh said the KESC deal was another success for the government's privatisation process in what he called a complex transaction in which the commission received support from top level of the government, including President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

He paid tributes to all the previous governments that he said had worked for this transaction and "tried their best in the past 12 to 15 years" to bring good management and technology and give Karachi a better service.

Hassan Associates chairman Farooq Hassan said his group's Saudi partners should not be considered foreigners because of the special relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and voiced his hope that the deal would be a success story.

More news from