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Government to sell Pakistan International Airlines majority shares

Pakistan International Airlines (Photo: @Official_PIA)

The federal government is contemplating selling the majority shares of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), ARY News reported, citing a government official.

The Privatisation Commission will decide on the number of shares the government will sell as it nears the conclusion of the PIA privatisation process, Coordinator to Prime Minister on Economy and Energy Bilal Azhar Kayani said during his appearance on ARY News show ‘KHABAR’.

According to Azhar Kayani, the government was considering selling around 51 per cent to a complete 100 per cent share of the national flag carrier, as per ARY News.

Kayani stated that the administrative control of PIA would be transferred to the entity acquiring the majority of shares.

According to the ARY News, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader mentioned that progress on PIA privatisation was advancing well, asserting that numerous countries and global companies had expressed interest in purchasing the airline.

According to him, the matters related to PIA’s retired employees were shifted to the PIA Holding Company, however, he said that the pension disbursement to the retired workers will not be hindered due to the holding company.

Meanwhile, Kayani mentioned that the federal government was actively addressing issues concerning current employees, with a policy set to be formulated soon.

A day earlier, the federal government settled the liabilities, debt, and arrears of PIA by transferring all financial losses and debts of the national airline to the withholding company before the privatisation process.

‘Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has been notified about the clearance of PIA’s balance sheet,’ Officials said

The government has also invited bids for the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines from buyers by May 3.

Following reforms in the PIA, the shares of the national flag carrier recorded a 650 per cent surge during trading at the PSX.

In the last few weeks, PIA shares jumped to Pakistani currency (PKR) 32 from PKR 4.50. Recently, the share value of PIA rose to PKR 32 from PKR 27.

The share price is going up due to the confidence of investors after the reform process in the PIA, as per the market experts.

With a share value of PKR 32, Pakistan International Airlines became the 70th largest shareholder of Pakistan.