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 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

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FINANCE

June 10 - 16, 2002

PTCL, PSO SELL-OFF BY SEPT

The Privatization Commission Board on Wednesday decided to complete some of the major transactions including that of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) by September this year.

According to official sources, the meeting which was presided over by Minister for Privatization Altaf M. Saleem was told that by completing various transactions on schedule, the PC would be able to manage the target of collecting $3 billion before the end of this year.

The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) is meeting on Thursday under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz to approve various new transactions to be brought in the market soon.

Sources said that the CCoP was also likely to approve PC Board's recommendations to sell the Al-Haroon Chamber, Karachi to the highest bidder. However, the CCoP would not be approving the sale of Faletti's Hotel because of having received less price.

During the PC Board meeting, an update was given on UBL transaction by the Financial Advisor Societe Generale & AMZ Securities. The Board was informed that June 10 had been fixed as the bidding date for UBL transaction.

The three pre-qualified bidders which include Consortium of Abu Dhabi Group (UAE) & Bestway Holding Limited (UK) C/O Bank Alfalah Limited, the Consortium of MCB & Associates and the Consortium of Union Bank Limited & Associates will take part in the bidding.

The Board was further informed that the process for the privatization of HBL had been launched with a kick of meeting and that transaction was targeted for bidding in September 2002.

The Board meeting was apprised about the current status and the progress with regard to the privatization of PTCL, PSO, KESC and OGDCL.

GOLD PRICE TOUCHES RS 6,360

Local gold price maintained its upward move, touching new peaks at Rs6,360 per 10 grams on Tuesday. The gold on Monday was sold at Rs6,348 per 10 grams.

The new price of 116.640 gram bar is now being quoted at Rs74,000 as compared to Rs72,880 on May 22.

International gold prices on Tuesday surged to $329 per ounce, showing a persistent rise due to Middle East crisis followed by border tension between Pakistan and India.

On May 13, global gold prices were $311 per ounce and in middle of April it was hovering between $304 and $305 per ounce.

KSE TO INVEST RS20M IN NCEL

Karachi Stock Exchange approved an investment of Rs20 million in the shares of National Commodity Exchange Limited (NCEL) on Thursday.

The investment of Rs20 million, which amounts to 40 per cent of the NCEL's paid-up capital of Rs50 million, was approved by the members of the KSE at an extraordinary general meeting called for the purpose.

A statement issued by the exchange stated that the chairman and the MD-KSE had been authorized to sign appropriate documents and forms and fulfil requisite legal and corporate formalities.

20PC HBL SHARES FOR WORKERS, PUBLIC

The government has decided in principle to offer 10 per cent shares of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) to its employees following refusal by the international financial institutions to prepare the bank for privatization.

Official sources told that another chunk of 5 to 10 per cent shares would be offered to the general public in next couple of months through green shoe option. In this way, a total of up to 20 per cent HBL shares would be transferred to the employees and the general public.

ATTOCK CEMENT TO GO PUBLIC

Attock Cement Limited plans to raise Rs100 million through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on June 18. It will be the second company to go public this year , after the earlier entry of the oil refinery Bosicor Pakistan Limited into the country's equity market.

SLCL OKAYS 50PC PREFERENCE SHARES

The members of Security Leasing Corporation Limited (SLCL) approved the 50 per cent right issue of preference shares at the company's extraordinary general meeting (ExGM) on May 31, a press release by the company said.

RS110M OFFERED FOR AL-HAROON CHAMBERS

The Privatization Commission on Saturday received the highest bid of Rs110 million for the sale of Al-Haroon Chambers, Karachi, a property of Republic Motors.

Al-Haroon Chambers and Faletti's hotel of Lahore, were the two re-estate public assets, which the Privatization Commission put to hammer on Saturday in an open bidding held in the presence of Privatization Minister Altaf Saleem.

UNITED BANK TRANSACTION STRUCTURE APPROVED

The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) on Thursday approved the transaction structure for the privatization of United Bank Limited (UBL).

This will be the first major transaction in the financial sector being disinvested by the present government. UBL transaction is being handled by the Financial Adviser Societe General & AMZ Securities.

According to a PC announcement, the bidding for UBL will take place on June 10 at the Privatization Commission.