Plans to open up Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) to management and substantial shareholding by private investors are set to go ahead following the over-subscription of the second privatisation tranche in September. Six companies, including the US’ AT&T, UK’s Cable & Wireless and British Telecom, and KPM of the Netherlands, are holding negotiations to buy 26 per cent of PTC and become company manager. An agreement is expected within the next six to 12 months, bankers say.

The plan has received a boost by the over-subscription by $1,500 million of a 10 per cent government share sale on 16 September. The government raised $900 million in the sale and reduced its shareholding in PTC to just over 88 per cent. Some 500 million shares were sold for Rs 55 ($1.8) each. The subscription was in dollars and open to foreign and local investors. Jardine Fleming of the UK and the local Muslim Commercial Bank managed the sale.

The share price was markedly higher than in the first sale of government shares in PTC in August. Local investors bought just under 2 per cent of PTC shares for Rs 30 ($1) each (MEED 24:6:94).