ISLAMABAD - The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) on Tuesday approved divestment of Habib Bank Limited (HBL)’s shares in international market, which would generate over $1 billion for the national kitty.

The CCoP meeting, which was chaired by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, has detailed deliberations on the proposed transaction structure for divestment of GoP shares in Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and the National Power Construction Company.

Chairman Privatisation Commission Mohammad Zubair briefed the meeting about the proposed mechanism for divestment of GoP shares in HBL and NPCC. The Finance Minister observed that all out efforts should be made for securing best price for HBL shares as it was a prime financial institution of the country having significant international standing.

CCoP approved the transaction structure proposal for HBL transaction (Sale of GoP shares in HBL). Sources informed that government is expecting to generate $1.36 billion by divesting its residual 42 percent in HBL. With the consensus of the house, the Finance Minister gave instructions for further discussions on NPCC proposal at the CCoP meeting next Friday.

It is worth mentioning here that government had planned to complete four transactions during year 2014-15 including HBL. The government completed the transactions of Allied Bank of Pakistan in December last year that generated Rs 14.4 billion for the national kitty.

 The other two transactions that would be completed this year including National Power Construction Corporation and Heavy Electrical Complex by end of June 2015 that would generate Rs2 billion and Rs1 billion respectively.

The government delayed the transaction of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) due to the declining oil prices in the country. The government had estimated to generate $800 to $850 million from OGDCL transaction if it was completed in September 2014.

 However, the government failed to complete the transaction in September due to sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek.

Federal Ministers for Information, Pervaiz Rashid, Commerce Khurram Dastgir, Planning & Development Ahsan Iqbal and Minister of State for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi and senior officials from Ministry of Finance, SECP, Privatisation Commission, SBP, Planning & Development and other depts/ organisations attended the meeting.