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Pakistan’s privatization deal interests UAE and Qatar

Pakistan plans to sell PIA and outsource three airports to increase foreign exchange and avoid a balance of payment crisis.

Investors from the UAE, Qatar, and Turkey have shown interest in Pakistan’s national airline and airports as the South Asian nation accelerates its privatization program.

Other investors are from Germany, France, Netherlands, Malaysia, and local groups, ARY News, a Pakistani news channel, reported.

Defence and Aviation Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has discussed outsourcing airports and privatizing Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Islamabad is planning to sell the state-run airline and outsource three airports to raise foreign exchange and avoid a balance of payment crisis.

The board of PIA has approved the airline’s privatization and restructuring plan, with the names of the investors yet to be disclosed. The government has appointed the financial advisory firm E&Y to prepare the plan for the loss-making airline, which had liabilities of Rs. 785 billion ($2.8 billion) and accumulated losses of Rs. 713 billion as of June last year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged Islamabad to privatize state-owned enterprises to revive its ailing economy. Last week, the IMF agreed to release $1.1 billion of a $3 billion bailout package to Pakistan, stating that the country would require more policy reforms to address deep-seated economic vulnerabilities.


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