Approving the transaction structures for five government entities, the Privatization Commission (PC) board has shelved any decision on the Roosevelt Hotel after the stakeholders had a change of heart.
The board approved privatization of four entities of House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC), namely First Women Bank Limited, Jinnah Convention Centre and Services Hotel Lahore.
With Privatisation Minister Mohammad Mian Soomro in the chair, the board also approved the divestment of 20% shares in the profitable Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited.
The planning ministry said that the transaction structures will now be presented before the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) and subsequently before the federal cabinet for approval.
The board also put off the decision on divesting shares in Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), and Mari Petroleum Limited. The development of the transactions will be discussed again when the board meets next week.
The meeting postponed discussions on the privatization of the Roosevelt Hotel, New York. The hotel is owned by Pakistan International Airlines Investment Limited (PIAIL).
The board was informed that PIAIL has gone against the CCOP decision to upgrade the valuation study despite a decision by the CCOP.
According to sources, PIAIL does not want to complete the transaction at this stage, despite a push from experts and political parties due to a slump in the realty market.
Last week, the CCOP had directed the Privatization Commission to hire a financial adviser to convert the hotel property to a joint venture project. However, no development was made in this regard after the commission failed to engage a financial adviser due to the high cost. The commission wants the finance ministry to bear the cost.