Pakistan panel clears 15pc IPO of United Bank

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's cabinet committee on privatisation (CCOP) has approved the initial public offering of 15 per cent shares of United Bank Limited (UBL) including a green shoe option of five per cent in case of over subscription.

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Wed 13 Apr 2005, 10:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:00 PM

The meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz yesterday also decided to offer shares to the general public through a reduced lot size of 200 shares each to accommodate maximum number of shares. The share price would be fixed later. The UBL shares would listed on the three stock exchanges in the last week of next month.

The meeting also approved the inclusion of strategic sale of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation and Morafco Industries, Faisalabad in the privatisation programme.

The CCOP also constituted a sub-committee led by minister for privatisation Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and comprising adviser to the prime minister on finance Dr. Salman Shah and chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Tariq Hasan to look into issues relating to privatisation of Carrier Telephone Industries (CTI), Islamabad.

The meeting was told that arrangements were being finalised to disinvest Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) as a "single entity" with transfer of 26 per cent management control to a strategic buyer by June 30 this year. The transaction will be completed by June or perhaps in May 2005.

There had been three international companies from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon who have so far expressed their interest to take part in the privatisation of the PTCL. There were reports that four more companies including each from India and Singapore have approached the officials of the Privatisation Commission to also bid for the PTCL.

However, an official source when approached said that some more companies and consortium have shown interest to purchase 26 per cent strategic shares of the PTCL with management control. "But unless these new market players formally send their EOIs by January 28, it would not be fair to say that some more companies or groups are interested in the PTCL", he said.

Another source said that once the pre-qualification committee was set which was necessary for any mega transaction it will take three weeks to look into the EOIs after January 28. Later, the committee was likely to take six weeks to pre-qualify the bidding companies in the light of their Statement of Qualifications (SOQs). Then, he pointed out, that a data room will be established which would take another two months to complete the due diligence by going through the financial resources and expertise of the companies and consortiums. "So we hope to complete the whole transaction by or before June 30 this year," he said. Sources said that the higher authorities believed that PTCL should be sold as an "integrated entity" enabling the new buyer to become a strong regional player.

The authorities were of the view that unbundling of the PTCL would not be cost effective in terms of time as the company's market share has already reduced from 80 per cent to 51 per cent with the advent of the new players in the market, which would further decrease.



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