within 24 hours to take over 51 per cent shares of
the UBL along with transfer of management.
The representatives of all the three pre-qualified
bidders were present on the occasion. However, only Abu Dhabi group took
part in the fresh bidding, and increased its bid to Rs12.35 billion.
The Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) group, which was the
highest bidder in the previous bidding by giving a Rs 12 billion bid,
did not opt for the fresh bidding.
When asked by the Minister for Privatization, Altaf
M. Saleem and other officials of the Privatization Commission to take
part in the bidding, the representatives of the MCB group said that they
were here only as an observer and have no plan to take part in the fresh
"We have given in writing our point of view to
the PC and we are sticking to it," said Ali Munir of MCB group.
As soon as the Abu Dhabi group gave in writing its
final bid of Rs12.35 billion it was declared a winner. The bidding
started with a floor price of Rs12.3 billion in which the minimum jump
was Rs50 million to increase the bid.
"The UBL goes to Abu Dhabi and Bestway
group," announced Director General Banks and Transactions of the
PC, Abdul Hafeez Mirza who conducted the bidding process. The bidding
ceremony was attended by a large number of businessmen, bankers and the
representatives of print and electronic media.
DEBT WRITE-OFF TOPS GOVT'S AGENDA
The $1 billion debt write-off, increased budgetary
support and the supply of military equipment, including spare parts for
F-16 aircraft, will be the main topics of discussions between Pakistan
and America during President Gen Pervez Musharraf's visit to the United
Official sources said on Wednesday that the president
would fly from Lahore on Sept 7 on a regular PIA flight to New York and
return to Islamabad on Sept 12.
The issue of the writing off of $1 billion US debt,
out of a total of $3.2 billion loan, will be settled during the
president's visit. The Bush administration has included the removal of
$1 billion debt in the 2002-03 budget, usually called as "03".
PETROL, KEROSENE PRICES INCREASED
The Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) on
Saturday increased the prices of all petroleum products by 1.02 per cent
to 5.48 per cent. The new prices will be effective from September 1-15,
The price of petrol (MS 87 RON) has been increased by
1.12 per cent to Rs34.32 per litre from Rs33.94, while the price of High
Octane Blending Component (HOBC) has been raised to 38.79 per litre from
Rs38.40, up by 1.02 per cent.
Kerosene oil will now be available at Rs18.41 per
litre from Rs17.60, showing a rise of 4.60 per cent.
Light diesel oil (LDO) prices have been increased by
4.26 per cent to Rs16.65 per litre from Rs15.97. JP-4 and JP-1 prices
have been raised to Rs16.64 and Rs13.27 per litre from Rs16.10 and
Rs12.58 per litre.
Three leading oil marketing companies (OMCs) have
increased the prices of high speed diesel (HSD) by 2 to 4.35 per cent.
It was the first revision by the OMCs after deregulation from September
BANKS RUN SHORT OF LIQUIDITY
The banking system on Thursday resorted to Rs9
billion discounting from the State Bank discount window to overcome
Discounting means overnight borrowing from the SBP
against the approved government securities at a fixed rate — currently
at 9 per cent.
Senior bankers said the banks went short of liquidity
after an outflow of Rs17 billion on settlement of the treasury bills
auction conducted on Wednesday. The SBP had squeezed Rs17 billion out of
a not-so-liquid inter-bank market through sale of six- month T-bills
against the target of Rs6 billion: the target was set at Rs6 billion as
the market was supposed to get the same amount of inflow.
SBP STARTS DOLLAR-RUPEE SWAP
The State Bank on Wednesday bought $12-$15 million
from some local and foreign banks through its newly set up swap desk.
No senior SBP official was available to say anything
about the operations of the swap desk but several senior bankers said
the central bank bought $12-$14 million from banks for one month. One
banker estimated the buying at $14-$18 million.
STATE BANK EVOLVING $-FINANCING MECHANISM
The governor, State Bank, Dr Ishrat Hussain said on
Monday that the State Bank is evolving dollar-financing mechanism, under
which more dollar funds at cheaper cost will be made available with
scheduled banks for providing to importers and exporters.
Addressing Aptma members at a luncheon meeting, the
governor said at when the government is looking for safe avenues to make
dollar financing out of its huge reserves it would be most appropriate
that larger funds under dollar financing are made available for external
Presently, he said banks are short of dollar funds
because a minimum of 20 per cent could be kept for maintaining dollar
accounts with banks.
CDC MAY EARN RS25M PROFIT
Central Depository Company (CDC) could earn after-tax
profit of Rs25 million for the latest fiscal year, after the (gestation
period) losses of the previous four years, chief executive officer of
the company, Mohammad Hanif Jakhura told a press conference on Tuesday.