POLICY

 

July 20 - Aug 04, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

PAKISTAN-BASED SOFTWARE FIRM TO GO PUBLIC IN US

Despite weakening stocks amid frustrated investors, another joint Pakistan-US based software firm announced on Tuesday it is filing for Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the US market.

 

EssTec, Inc. having its offices in Lahore, Dubai and Santa Monica (CA) filed with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the IPO on Monday (July 22), it was announced on Tuesday.

It will, thus, be the third Pakistani-American software firm to go public. The other two were NetSol International Inc., and Align Technologies, both have vast operational bases in Lahore.

EssTec was founded in 1999 by Pakistani-American businessman and financier Tariq Khan.

Although Mr. Khan has been associated and assisted in taking over eight companies public in the past six years, he first came into the spotlight within the Pakistani community when he took public the first software company from Pakistan onto the US markets. That company, NetSol International, went public at $5 per share and within eighteen months was trading as high as $80 per share on Nasdaq.

In an exclusive interview, Khan told EssTec was offering one million shares in the IPO, hoping to raise between $8-10 million.

"Our investment bankers, West Park Capital (based in Century City), has indicated a share price of between $8-10. If successful, we will raise between $8 million and $10 million," he told.

Khan said the whole process from filing to actual trading would take between 90-100 days. After the SEC's approval, the EssTec stocks will be traded in the AMEX. "After having jumped several hurdles over the past year including but not limited to the "dot.com" collapse, the technology sector fallout, the stock markets downward spiral,9/11 incident, tensions between India and Pakistan, accounting changes and scandals we are proud to announce that not only did we survive, but with the support and backing of our Investment Bankers, we have filed with the SEC for an Initial Public Offering of 1,000,000 shares of EssTec common stock."

WB OFFERS FUNDING FOR ROADS REHABILITATION

The World Bank has agreed to offer substantial funding for the $260 million "Pakistan-Highway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project" to be undertaken in 2003.

Informed sources said that Pakistan had been told that the World Bank was expected to formally approve the project early next year to rehabilitate about 1,000 to 1,200kms (15%) of the national highway network as part of the phase-1 programme.

The rehabilitation programme will be spread over ten years and will be implemented in three phases. The phase-1 also includes highway bridges and drainage structures and sub-projects covering about 500-600kms of highways and structures.

Under the programme, assistance will be provided by the World Bank for operationalizing the National Roads Board (NRB) and Road Fund and the institutional strengthening of the National Highway Authority (NHA).

NWD, ISD CHARGES TO BE REDUCED: PTCL CHAIRMAN

The Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL) has decided to further reduce charges on nationwide (NWD) and international calls (ISD) by 25 per cent.

In an interview with this agency on Wednesday, the PTCL chairman, Akhtar A. Bajwa, said a formal announcement about the reduction in tariff would be made within a couple of weeks.