International financial advisers have been invited to prequalify for the second phase of the Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) privatisation. Applications are due by mid-February.

The government is seeking advice on the structure of the second phase of privatisation. This involves the sale of a 26 per cent shareholding in PTC, and the transfer of management control of the company to a strategic investor.

The government wants a quick sale and intends that the shareholding should change hands and a new manager be appointed by June. Industry sources say the timescale is ambitious.

Six companies, including the US’ AT&T, the UK’s Cable & Wireless and British Telecommunications and KPM of the Netherlands, held negotiations with the government in 1994 for the shareholding and management contract. In September 1994, the government raised $900 million from the sale of shares, reducing its holding to slightly more than 88 per cent. The previous sale was handled by the UK’s Jardine Fleming and the local Muslim Commercial Bank (MEED 30:9:94).