PR No.177 Pakistan Receives Prestigious The Asset ‘Best Deal Of The Year Award 2015’ Islamabad

Pakistan receives the Best Second Placement/Best Privatisation Award 2015 in the ASSET’s ‘Best Deal Awards’ category in recognition of country’s transactional work on the divestment of Government of Pakistan’s shareholding in Habib Bank Limited in 2014-15, says a press release received from Hong Kong here today.

The ASSET, one of Asia’s most prestigious corporate ranking journals publishing in Hong Kong since two decades, has given the ‘Best Deal of the Year 2015’ Award to Pakistan at The Asset Triple A Regional Awards ceremony held in Hong Kong today.

Pakistan’s Minister of State for privatization and Chairman Privatisation Commission Mr. Mohammad Zubair received the prestigious Award. He was flanked by Pakistan’s Consul General in Hong Kong Mr. Ghufran Memon. Hong Kong’s top executives and policy makers from the finance and banking sectors attended the award ceremony. A number of awards of various categories were given away among financial institutions, banks, investment houses and countries.

The international award is one of the highest appreciations for Pakistan’s Privatisation Commission in realizing divestment of 41.5% stake of the GoP in Habib Bank Limited (HBL). The HBL transaction generated gross proceeds of PKR 102 billion (equivalent to USD 1.005 Billion), including foreign exchange inflow of over USD 764 million with over 45 global equity participating with total demand of over 725 Million shares against offer size of around 609 million.

As the financial publishing group in Asia with the widest reach among Asian issuers and global institutional investors active in the region, The Asset takes particular care in producing its annual awards. The ASSET’s annual Triple A recognition represents the industry’s most prestigious awards for banking, finance, treasury and the capital markets.

On the occasion of receiving the award, Minister of State for Privatisation Muhammad Zubair said that so far, three (03) Capital Market Transactions have been successfully concluded and about a dozen strategic sales and divestments are in pipeline, which will be achieved within stipulate time frame. He said that Pakistan has completed a hat trick of receiving international awards in 2014 and 2015, which has indeed improved country’s economic and political outlook in the world arena. These awards are manifestations of world’s confidence in the economic, fiscal and privatization policies of the government. Minister told that divestment of HBL is so far not only the largest equity transaction of Pakistan but also the largest in Asian Frontier markets.

The Minister of State said that Pakistan’s privatization program is an ambitious segment of the economic reforms agenda of the PML (N) government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said that along with deregulation, restructuring and good governance, the program seeks to enhance growth and productivity in the economy by harnessing the private sector’s capital and managerial potential as engine of growth.

The Minister said that Pakistan embarked on ambitious capital-raising plans in 2014, presenting investors throughout the international markets with an optimistic turnaround growth story. Such policies would continue in the most transparent manner, he said.