Pakistan hopes to salvage PTCL deal

1 Nov 2005

Pakistan’s privatisation minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, has launched a round of talks in Dubai in an attempt to salvage the planned privatisation of incumbent telco Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL). UAE-based telco Etisalat won a bidding process earlier this year for the 26% stake in the telco, but this weekend failed to meet a second deadline for paying the USD2.34 billion outstanding from the USD2.6 billion sale, causing Pakistan to call the deal off. However, Shaikh now hopes to negotiate a new payment schedule with Etisalat officials so that the deal can still go ahead, but the government has warned that any new schedule can not be extended beyond the end of Pakistan’s financial year next June.

Pakistan, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)