The first attempt to raise equity finance for a local project on the Eurobond market was fully subscribed and raised $45 million. Another such fund, to be managed by the World Bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is planned for June, again for the textile industry.

The initial fund will go towards expanding a polyester staple fibre plant at Hattar, central Pakistan, owned by the local Dewan Salman. It was offered to selected investors in London for one day on 22 April. The convertible bonds pay a coupon of 5 per cent a year, payable every six months, and can be converted into cash locally at a rate of Rs 195 ($6.40) each. Citicorp managed the issue.

The second issue, again of convertible Eurobonds, is to raise $14 million to finance an expansion project for the local Nishat Textile Mills. The IFC is likely to act as financial adviser and, with Citicorp, will manage the issue, subject to approval by the board. A third foreign equity launch, also expected in June, will be a $60 million global depository receipt for a local cement project (see above).