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PTCL seeks to acquire Telenor Pakistan

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  • PTCL is interested in buying Telenor with management control.
  • Etisalat to give guarantees for commercial loans.
  • PTCL will possess two subsidiaries operating in Pakistan — Ufone and Telenor — if the deal is done  

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is ready to unleash its non-binding offer to acquire Telenor Pakistan, which is a cellular and digital services providerThe News reported Tuesday.

The telecommunication company is eyeing to buy Telenor at a possible price range of $800 million to $1.2 billion. 

The PTCL’s board of directors, which gave a nod to acquiring majority shares of Telenor, is interested in buying the cellular company with management control.

Etisalat, the PTCL’s parent company, will give guarantees to raise commercial loans for making this deal done. 

Payment in dollars

Telenor’s management has asked for making payment in US dollars so arrangements will have to be finalised before moving ahead toward a binding offer to accomplish the deal.

Top official sources confirmed to The News on Monday that the PTCL’s interest had been conveyed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that they were interested in acquiring the shares of Telenor Pakistan. 

If both parties agree to the non-binding offer, then the PTCL will give its offer to accomplish this transaction, said the sources.

There are some issues that require settlement, as Etisalat has made a request to the government that they will be ready to pay the amount of the deal in dollars outside Pakistan keeping in view the lingering dollar liquidity crunch being experienced in the country.

Outstanding issues

There are some other outstanding issues as well, especially Etisalat has to pay an outstanding amount of $800 million on account of PTCL privatisation which could not solve since 2005-6.

There are outstanding issues of transferring land in the name of Etisalat in different parts of the country. Thirdly the PTCL’s employees’ issues also remain unresolved so all outstanding issues would have to be settled to strike this deal.

If the deal is done, then the PTCL will possess two subsidiaries operating in Pakistan — Ufone and Telenor Pakistan. 

Ufone’s balance sheet does not allow it to acquire another major stakeholder in the market so Etisalat is ready to play its role in finalising this expected deal.

If the binding offer is given by the PTCL, then the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet and federal cabinet will have to grant approval because the Government of Pakistan also possesses shares in PTCL.

Dar chairs meeting on telecom sector 

According to an official announcement made by the Ministry of Finance Monday night, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on the telecom sector.

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar, Secretary Finance, Secretary Privatisation and Secretary IT & Telecom participated in the meeting.

The meeting discussed the telecom sector in general and PTCL in particular. 

Dar emphasised that the nominee directors of the government on the PTCL board must make active contributions for the best possible performance of the telecommunications company.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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Pakistan currently has $14.38 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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Pakistan’s commercial banks’ reserves, which stood at $5.28 billion at the conclusion of the week ending on June 7, rose by US$174 million, according to a central bank statement.

Reserving US$6.2 million less, the SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves. The causes for the decline in the reserves it had were not disclosed by the central bank.

The SBP released a statement that stated, “SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on 07-June-2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves were reduced by US$ 63 million as a result of repaying external debt, with the reserves standing at US$ 9.093 billion as of earlier on June 6.

The central bank spokesperson said in a statement that as of the week that concluded on May 31, the nation’s total liquid foreign reserves were $14.31 billion.

In terms of net foreign reserves, commercial banks have US$ 5.22 billion of the overall foreign reserves, according to the SBP.

SBP reserves dropped by US$ 63 million to US$ 9,093.7 million during the week that ended on May 24, 2024, according to the announcement.

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In the local market, the price of gold plummets to Rs240,700/tola.

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Gold with a 24-karat purity level has dropped by Rs1200/tola on the local market.

Each tola of 24-karat gold is now selling for Rs240,700, with a further drop of Rs1029 bringing the price of 10 kilos of gold to Rs206,361. These figures are courtesy of the All Sarafa and Jewelers Association.

Meanwhile, after a $2 decline on the global market, one ounce of gold will be valued $2315.

A tola of gold was worth Rs 600 more on Wednesday.

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