Divestment of OGDCL shares to begin soon

Updated November 30, 2019

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A view of an OGDCL gas field is seen in this file photo.
A view of an OGDCL gas field is seen in this file photo.

ISLAMABAD: The process to divest up to seven per cent shares of the Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) to foreign and domestic institutional investors, high net-worth individuals and general public at the Pakistan Stock Exchange has begun.

Privatisation secretary told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatisation that the government has invited ‘Expressions of Interest (EoI)’ for the appointment of financial advisory consortium and the due date for submission of technical and financial proposal is Dec 9.

The OGDCL is listed at Pakistan Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange and is part of KSE-100 and KSE-30 indices. In 2014 the PML(N) government had tried to divest up to 10pc shares in the profitable state-owned oil and gas company but the plan was shelved due to lack of investor interest. The PTI at the time opposed the move, describing it as a “privatisation” and claiming the government was giving the entity away at a “throw-away price”.

The financial consortium is expected to advise the privatisation commission on all matters relating to the transaction and the government will determine the transaction structure, size and divestment strategy on their recommendations.

Govt aiming to sell 7pc shares, invites EoI for financial advisory

In its last financial statement for the year 2018-2019, the OGDCL declared a profit after tax of Rs118.4 billion and earnings per share of Rs27.5. The government holds 74.97pc stake while 10.05pc is with Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS). The OGDCL is producing 47pc of oil and 29pc of gas out of the country’s total production during 2019-20.

The OGDCL apprised the committee that the company is market leader in almost all aspects of up-stream sector including acreage, seismic, reserves and production. OGDCL is a debt-free company, contributing Rs160bn to national exchequer. In FY2018-19, the company drilled 16 wells of which nine were exploratory and seven were development.

Meanwhile, a representative of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) also informed the committee that Privatisation Commission board approved divestment of up to 10pc shares of PPL held by government to institutional investors through block sale.

The committee deferred the remaining agenda regarding Guddu and Nandipur power plants and decided that a separate meeting would be convened for detailed discussion. The 425-525MW combined cycle Nandipur Power Plant in Gujranwala is owned by the Northern Power Generation Com­pany Ltd and the 747MW Guddu Power Plant is owned by Central Power Gener­ation Company Ltd, both of which are state-owned generation companies. Both plants have been selected by the government as part of overall privatisation programme.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2019