Pakistan Close to Settling Assets Dispute with Etisalat
Published on: 3rd Mar 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Pakistan's government may have moved a step closer to resolving a long standing dispute with the UAE's Etisalat over outstanding payments from the privatisation of PTCL.
The dispute relates to the transfer of property that should have been included with PTCL when it was sold, but the legal title remained with the government.
Etisalat offered USD2.6 billion for a 26% stake in PCTL back in 2006 in staggered payments, but has withheld USD800 million in a dispute over the transfer of assets from the government to the telecoms operator.
Of the 131 outstanding properties, it has been reported that 68 have now been transferred to PTCL, and the remaining are in the process of being handed over.
Once completed, that should trigger a payment of USD800 million to the Pakistan government
Long standing plans by Etisalat to increase its holding to 51% have been on hold until the dispute is settled. Etisalat already has management control of the company as part of the privatization agreement.