Pakistan mulls $267M offer to settle Etisalat row - Mobile World Live

Pakistan mulls $267M offer to settle Etisalat row

03 JAN 2020

Etisalat offered the Pakistan government $267 million to settle a 13-year long row over the purchase of shares in state-owned Pakistan Telecoms Company, Dawn reported.

The amount offered is a third of $800 million overdue to the Pakistani government.

In 2005, the UAE-based operator agreed to purchase a 26 per cent controlling stake in PTC for $2.598 billion.

After making an initial payment of $260 million, Etisalat failed to make a payment for four years, until it forked out around $1.4 billion in 2009, leaving roughly $800 million left on the bill.

Etisalat is reportedly dragging its heels on the remaining amount due to properties that are yet to be handed over to the operator as part of the deal. PTC reportedly couldn’t transfer the properties over to Etisalat as they were partially-owned, rented, or not owned by PTC in the first place.

Sources speaking to Dawn said the government offered to discount PKR9 billion ($58 million) out of the remaining total in an inter-ministerial meeting, with the remaining total to be paid. Etisalat countered with its $267 million offer.

Government finance adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said in an official statement the government wants to bring this decade-long issue to a close by coming to a “final settlement beneficial for our country and our long-term business interests.” He set a deadline of the end of this month for both parties to draw up a final resolution.

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Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

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