The Privatisation Commission says that it expects to finalise details of the privatisations of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sul Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGP) within the next few weeks. The sale of 26 per cent stakes in the country’s two state-owned gas transmission and distribution companies could then be completed by early 1997, a commission consultant said.

The details include a regulatory framework and a formula for setting prices. A draft document on the regulatory framework has now been agreed. The commission expects finalised documents on both issues to be sent for govemment approval within the next few weeks. Once the documents have been approved, the commission will move to market the sale to international investors.

The commission has decided that the companies will be privatised sequentially with the sale of SNGP to take place first. If the process stays on schedule, the first transaction could take place in the first quarter of 1997.

Financial advisers for SNGP are the local First Capital Securities Corporation and Smith Barney of the US. The original adviser for SSGP, the local/French Bear StearnsJahanqir Siddiqui, is no longer acting on the project and the commission says a new adviser will be appointed within the next month.