ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission (PC) on Wednesday said meetings with the pre-qualified parties for the sell-off of Pakistan Steel Mills were underway, with the companies conducting due diligence processes and on-site visits.
At a review meeting, Minister for Privatisation and PC Chairman Abid Hussain Bhayo stated that the commission should focus in order to resolve all the pending matters for the early revival of steel mills since it was one of the biggest entities on the active privatisation list and was incurring huge losses to the national exchequer since 2015.
The privatisation plan of the government seeks revival of the steel mills for the acquisition of 51 to 74 per cent of issued share capital together with management control of Steel Corp (Private) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (Private) Limited.
The review meeting focused on the progress so far made in the transaction of various entities to be privatised. Secretary Privatisation Dr Irum Khan and senior officials and consultants were present during the meeting.
During the PC review meeting, the transaction status of National Power Parks Management Company Ltd (NPPMCL) was also discussed, and it was informed that a series of meetings with stakeholders have been held on the debt and equity matters. For that purpose, a plan of action has already been agreed upon regarding debt-refinancing for the plant from local and commercial banks. Once the debt-refinancing and recapitalisation are finalised, the sale of equity shares will quickly follow.
NPPMCL, a state-owned enterprise, owns and operates two RLNG-based combined cycle technology power plants located in Haveli Bahadur Shah in district Jhang and Balloki in district Kasur, together with the HBS power plant.
These plants are to be privatised with the acquisition of up to 100pc of the equity stake with management control in either NPPMCL or two companies, each of which will own one of the power plants in case different investors acquire power plants.
The meeting was informed that the privatisation of House Building Finance Corporation (HBFCL), Pakistan’s only housing finance entity, and the First Women’s Bank Limited (FWBL), also came up for review, and the meeting was informed that the privatisation of HBFCL will likely be completed in the current fiscal year, as national and international investors have shown keen interest in it.
Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2022