Bank sell-off delayed

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 1996, 12:00am

THE decision to delay again the planned sale of United Bank Ltd (UBL), Pakistan's second largest bank, has upset the business community.

The delay is the second since January 7, the initial date set for the bank's privatisation.

Officials at the government's privatisation commission in Islamabad said the sale had been put off to next Monday to give more time to the two lead investors to consult with their boards on a final offer price.

The Saudi Bisharahil group and the Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain are competing for the sale.

Many independent analysts, believe the delay was caused by a dispute over a demand by one of the groups, demanding commitments that the government inject up to 10 billion Rupees (about HK$2.25 billion) in the next three to four years, to improve UBL's finances, burdened by bad loans of up to 20 billion rupees.