ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- As the process of pre-qualifying firms for the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills is continuing, it has been revealed that six interested parties have submitted their statements of qualification (SOQs) and a committee has also been constituted to scrutinize them.
The Privatization Commission Board deliberated on a report on the pre-qualification of potential investors for the revival of PSM. The meeting was chaired by Federal Minister Privatization, Mohammed Mian Soomro. The Federal Secretaries Privatization and Interior, the board members, and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) attended the meeting.
The board observed that the parties were reputed, international investors. It underlined that it is welcoming that they expressed their interest in investing in the revival of PSM. It approved the pre-qualified parties. The Virtual Data Room (VDR) will be opened for pre-qualified bidders for their due diligence for thirty days.
The board also discussed the Jinnah Convention Center. It was decided that CDA would issue a consent letter to Privatization Commission, as directed by the federal cabinet, regarding the conversion of the center’s land from amenity to commercial.
The Ministry of Privatization made it clear that the infrastructure charges would be borne by the successful investor. It was also agreed that CDA and Financial Advisors from the Ministry of Privatization would evaluate the property and make a comprehensive evaluation report regarding infrastructure cost, in possible scenarios of land use, in the future for the investors. After receiving the letter from CDA for conversion of the plot into commercial land, VDR for pre-qualified parties will be opened.
The Privatization Commission Board was also briefed on the transaction status of the Heavy Electric Complex (HEC). The board allowed extending the bidding date up to one month as requested by one of the potential bidders.
The board was also briefed on the updated status of legislative matters and the receivables and payables thereof. Federal Minister Mohammed Mian Soomro asked the legal team to rigorously pursue the matter and bring the money payable to the Ministry of Privatization.
Later, the Federal Minister also chaired a meeting of the House Building Finance Company Limited (HBFCL). The Government of Pakistan is in the process of privatizing HBFCL through the sale of up to 100% shares along with management control. In this regard, expressions of interest (EOIs) were advertised on 27 December 2021 and it was re-advertised on 17 January 2022 for potential investors.
The Financial Advisor Consortium, led by MCB Bank, apprised the board of the response of potential investors. It was observed that engagement with more local and international investors was needed which would require some additional time for evaluation. The consortium proposed extending the date for submission of the EOIs.