ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission (PC) on Thursday completed the pre-bidding process for the privatisation of SME Bank and parties interested in the transaction were shortlisted.
At the same time, the PC Board completed initial discussions and consultations with the shortlisted bidders to facilitate them in the completion of their due diligence process. A high-level meeting chaired by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin reviewed progress on the bank’s privatisation.
After detailed deliberation, Mr Tarin directed Special Assistant on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood Khan to assess the requirements and prepare a proposal for strengthening the balance sheet of the SME Bank.
The direction came when the commission informed the finance minister regarding the equity requirement of the SME Bank.
Minister for Privatisation Muhammadmian Soomro informed the meeting that they are constantly in touch with the potential investors and will keep updating the finance ministry, State Bank of Pakistan and all the other relevant stakeholders of the new developments.
Mr Tarin affirmed his support for PC for the successful completion of the transaction. Governor SBP Dr Reza Baqir also attended the meeting.
Hiring of financial advisers approved
On Thursday, Mr Soomro convened the fourth PC Board meeting of the current year. Federal Secretary, board members and senior officers of the ministry attended the subject meeting.
During the meeting various important issues including Privatisation of Services International Hotel (SIH), hiring of audit firms for external audit, the status of the sale of federal government properties, PECO and update on the overall privatisation programme was discussed.
The status of the sale of 26 federal government properties was also discussed. Initially 23 out of the 26 properties were sold through open bidding in September last year, while three properties remained unsold.
Out of 23 sold properties, Rs920 million was deposited against 10 properties, while earnest money for the remaining 13 properties was forfeited on account of the failure of successful bidders to deposit the requisite sum.
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2021