Date
21 July 2017
Technicians work in a section of K-Electric's power plant on the outskirts of Karachi in this Aug. 11 photo. The utility’s top shareholder has invited bids for a controlling stake. Credit: Reuters
Technicians work in a section of K-Electric's power plant on the outskirts of Karachi in this Aug. 11 photo. The utility’s top shareholder has invited bids for a controlling stake. Credit: Reuters

Chinese state-backed firms bid for stake in Pakistani utility

Shanghai Electric Power and China Southern Power Grid are among the frontrunners to acquire a US$1.5 billion controlling stake in Pakistani utility K-Electric, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. 

Apart from the Chinese state-backed firms, Shanghai-headquartered Golden Concord Holdings is also among the bidders, according to the report.

The Chinese companies are said to be among a pack of about half a dozen bidders for K-Electric.

Golden Concord is the parent of Hong Kong-listed GCL-Poly Energy Holdings, which is involved in polysilicon and solar wafer manufacturing.

“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the main driver, with a lot of Chinese funding flowing into Pakistan,” a source told Reuters.

China last year announced energy and infrastructure projects worth US$46 billion in Pakistan, an initiative aimed at opening a trade corridor linking western China with the Arabian Sea.

The bids for K-Electric come as Abraaj Group, a Dubai-based private-equity firm, is seeking to sell its 66-percent stake in the Pakistani utility.

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