UK’s EY finalized as financial advisor for PIA privatization

Acting Privatization Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad chaired the Privatization Board meeting in Islamabad on November 10, 2023.  - PID
Acting Privatization Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad chaired the Privatization Board meeting in Islamabad on November 10, 2023. – PID
  • The government took steps towards the PIA privatization process.
  • EY got approval as financial advisor for the disinvestment.
  • IMF has asked the government to privatize sick SOEs.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has approved UK’s Ernst & Young (EY) as the financial advisor for the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to put the financially struggling entity up for sale. news informed of.

The Privatization Commission Board met on Friday under the chairmanship of Acting Privatization Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad and approved the appointment of financial advisor for the disinvestment of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIACL).

As of publication, eight parties had submitted proposals to become financial advisors.

The evaluation committee constituted by the Privatization Commission declared the Ernst & Young-led consortium as the “top-ranked” party based on the criteria.

The Commission has also set up a negotiation committee to finalize the financial services agreement with the top-ranked bidder.

Notably, the action has been taken on the instructions of Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakkar to expedite PIA privatization.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) recently approved a Rs 8 billion bridge financing package for PIA, which will settle overdue payments from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) resources.

The ECC, chaired by Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, had approved a bilateral arrangement between CAA and PIA.

The Aviation Division’s proposal for financial assistance through CAA to meet the airline’s critical needs has gained momentum.

The board also granted a 24-month extension each to House Building Finance Corporation Limited (HBFCL) and First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) for financial services agreements.

The Board also discussed the long standing issues related to the 35 years pending privatization of Pak-China Fertilizer Limited (PCFL).

Pakistan had said in August that it would privatize the airline as part of a fiscal discipline plan agreed under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

The airline has been in trouble for a long time.

PIA flights to Europe and the UK have been suspended since 2020 after the European Union’s aviation safety agency revoked the national carrier’s authorization to fly to the block following a scandal over pilot licenses.

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