The Privatisation Commission has invited applications for prequalification for the purchase of a 26 per cent stake in Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL).

The successful bidder will also take over management control of the company.

The state-owned Paldstan Telecommunications Corporation became PTCL in December. The company will handle 90 per cent of the work of the former PTC whilst the National Telecommunications Corporation will handle services for the government and the military (MEED12:1:96).

PTCL has large potential for expansion.

Access Lines in Service (MIS) currently stand at 1.7 per 100 people. The service has expanded by 125 per cent since 1990 and is expected to increase by another 145 per cent by 1998, according to the Privatisation Commission. PTCL will have a 25-year renewable licence with a seven-year monopoly on basic telephony services throughout Pakistan. It will also enjoy a tax holiday until June 1999.

The financial adviser, Germany’s Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, has issued an information memorandum for potential bidders. No deadline has been set for applications, but it is hoped that a deal will be concluded by April.