Pakistan to sell 10% of its holding in Sui Southern Gas

The government of Pakistan has decided to sell 10% of its 70.43% share of Sui Southern Gas Co., Karachi, on the Karachi stock exchange. SSGC supplies gas to Sindh and Baluchistan provinces. The sale should occur by December.


KARACHI�The government of Pakistan has decided to sell 10% of its 70.43% share of Sui Southern Gas Co., Karachi, on the Karachi stock exchange. SSGC supplies gas to Sindh and Baluchistan provinces. The sale should occur by December.

The remainder of SSGC is held by insurance companies, investment banks, joint stock companies, and financial institutions, while foreign shareholders own only 0.05%, according to Mukhtar Ahmed, managing director of SSGC.

SSGC has capital of about $84 million (US). It reported a profit after tax of about $15.87 million in 1998-99 as compared to $10.86 million in 1997-98.

Mukhtar further disclosed that the directors also approved the sale of the company's LPG business to Caltex Pakistan for $6.15 million.

He said SSGC provides 11% of Pakistan's LPG supplies. The sale is part of the government's privatization program.

The major assets that will go to Caltex include an assured quota of 20,000 tons/year; a bottling plant; and storage tanks in Karachi, Quetta and Dhurnal; as well as a developed nationwide network of 300 dealers. At present, SSGC has 220,000 domestic and commercial cylinders in circulation.

Mukhtar Ahmad further said in the next phase the privatization program will include sale of a meter manufacturing plant, besides inviting foreign/private investment in the distribution system.

The Sui Southern Gas Co. has estimated that Pakistan's total gas demand would reach 3,868 MMcfd by 2010 from 2,454 MMcfd this year, growing at a rate of 7% per annum, according to data distributed by the company a at media briefing.

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