Government postpones PTCL sell-off

6 Jun 2005

Pakistan’s government has postponed the sale of a 26% stake in state-owned telco Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL), following increasing pressure from employees. The sale was due to start on 10 June, with international telcos SingTel, China Mobile, Telekom Malaysia, Saudi Oger, Etisalat, Turkcell and the Almal Consortium of Egypt having qualified for the bidding. Around 8,000 of PTCL’s workers went on strike last month, however, calling for the privatisation to be called off because of fears that it would result in job losses. The government, which called for the delay after the strikes slowed repair and maintenance of some of PTCL’s lines, said that the move should not give any negative signals to investors, and has confirmed that the sell-off will go ahead before the end of June.