PM urges Etisalat payment

21 Dec 2012

Prime Minister Ashraf has asked that Etisalat clear the remaining USD800 million owed to the government as part of the UAE-backed company’s acquisition of a 26% stake in Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd (PTCL), ProPakistani reports. The PM has suggested that Etisalat nominate a team to resolve the outstanding issues, but is reluctant to take firmer action lest it deter future foreign investment in the sector. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in January 2006, Etisalat agreed to purchase the 26% stake and management control of PTCL for a total payment of USD2.6 billion: USD260 million was paid immediately, followed by a further payment of USD1.14 billion. The remaining balance was to be staggered over the following five years. It later emerged that Etisalat was withholding the final USD799 million payment, as the government had not transferred certain properties to PTCL. Most recently, in July 2012, local press reports claimed that the two parties had agreed terms after the government had completed the transfer of ownership for the majority of the properties in question. Under the new agreement, Etisalat would pay USD700 million of the amount owed, the USD100 million representing the value of the outstanding properties.

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