INTERVIEW: RUHAIL MOHAMMED
SVP FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION & CFO ENGRO CORPORATION LTD.
Jan 17 - 23, 2011
THAR COAL PROJECT
Engro Corporation is engaged in developing a combined project of Thar coal mining and power generation based on Thar coal at an estimated cost of over $4 billion, which is the biggest project, so far carried out in the private sector.
Giving an update about Thar coal mining project, Ruhail Mohammed, Senior Vice Present Finance and Administration and CFO of Engro Corporation Ltd. said the project is being developed in collaboration with government of Sindh. We have recently accomplished the task of feasibility report, which has proved that about 1.5 billion tons of coal deposits are available in the concession block.
Now we are looking for achieving financial close. However, we have asked the government to develop infrastructure including road, water, electricity, gas in the periphery of the block allocated for mining purpose. Actually unless the infrastructure is there, we cannot ask for financial assistance from the banking sector to make it a presentable case for fund raising. The government has allocated a certain amount of funds for developing infrastructure in Thar block. However, work has not been started so far towards development of infrastructural facility in that area. If we start work today, it will take at least three years to complete infrastructure facility. It is delayed for the time being.
Mr. Ruhail joined Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited as a Finance Advisor in 1998. In 2000, he became the Chief Financial Officer for Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited. Later, he was re-assigned to Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited as the Finance & Planning Manager and worked in that capacity till 2005.
Currently, he is a member on the Boards of Engro Corporation Limited, Engro Fertilizers Limited, Engro Foods Limited, Engro Energy Limited, Engro Powergen Limited, Engro EXIMP Private Limited, Avanceon Limited, and Sigma Leasing Corporation Limited. He is also the Chief Executive of Engro Management Services (Pvt.) Limited.
Prior to joining Engro, Mohammed has worked for Al-Murtaza Machinery Company, Al-Borj Garment Machinery Trading Co., Sigma Leasing Corporation Ltd., TransGulf Finance Corp. and Lindeteves Jacoberg BV.
Ruhail Mohammed is an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan, with a gold medal in Finance and a bronze medal for overall performance. He is also a CFA from CFA Institute (USA).
ROAD SHOW AT LSE
Ruhail who represented his company at an investor's conference jointly organized by the Privatization Commission, London Stock Exchange (LSE) and BMA while elaborating the focus behind the meeting, said that it was organized with an idea of show cashing the government owned companies, which the government desires to privatize going forward.
Hence, representatives of some of the companies on the list of privatization were sent to discuss and exploring opportunities for attracting investment through privatization. On the recommendation of BMA to make the event meaningful and more impressive, some leading companies from the private sector were also included in the delegation.
Senator Waqar Minister for Privatization and Senator Wasim Sajjad were also in the delegation. Over 50 fund managers, who mainly invest in equity, were also present in the meeting. Chief Executive of Standard Chartered was also present on the occasion or representatives of Abu Dhabi group were also present who shared their experience of doing business in Pakistan and that gave a positive view of the country.
Presence of these companies dispelled the false impression regarding law and order situation, which generally is sending a bad message about doing business environment in Pakistan. So, that was good occasion to build positive image of the country.
However, a lot of questions were raised by the fund managers regarding issues related to corruption, law and order, impact of war on terror and governance, as the fund managers and investors felt these things were in a bad shape.
Actually, it was a mixed sort of meeting in which pro Pakistan investors having a success story behind them spoke well about investment climate in the country while some investors were skeptical on governance and terrorism issue. In fact having concerns about terrorism issue, they were of the view that why they should invest in view of the security issues prevailing in the country.
Besides the representatives of the government owned organization like OGDCL, PPL, Pakistan Steel, Pakistan Railways and Pakistan Post, the meeting was fully represented with presence of leading private sector companies like Engro, MCB, Lucky Cement, HUBCO, UBL and others.
This meeting was quite significant from the perspective of providing an update regarding investment climate in Pakistan to the investors, hence the meeting cannot be described as a formal exercise, Ruhail remarked.
When asked to comment on the possible outcome of the meeting regarding divestment or privatization program of the government, Ruhail said that the minister for privatization presented a comprehensive report about performance of the companies, management and profitability and presented a road map about the economic and financial health, better management and future prospects of the companies to be privatized. "It was an impressive presentation and certainly helped conveying a good message to foreign investors."
It may be recalled that Global Depository Receipt (GDR) of some of Pakistani companies including Lucky Cement, MCB, OGDC, UBL have already been listed with London Stock Exchange while Mobil ink's bond was launched earlier. Now, OGCL is in the process of launching convertible bonds probably to raise funds to address the circular debt issue.