ISLAMABAD: The federal government has relieved Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro from the position of Chairman Privatisation Commission Board by appointing new chairman Saleem Ahmed, who has worked in JP Morgan.

Well-informed sources told Business Recorder that Soomro, who has completed two terms as chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, served as the acting President of Pakistan and caretaker Prime Minister and worked in top positions in financial institutions is disturbed at the appointment of his successor on the PC Board.

According to sources, the newly appointed Chairman PC Board has claimed that his objective are restructuring, recapitalization and privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises (POEs), and turnaround in their economic performance with the goal to generate positive returns on sovereign capital. The issue of conflict of interest of new Chairman is also being discussed in different forums with former employees of JP Morgan already participating in several transactions.

According to PC Ordinance, all the privatisation related powers rest with the chairman of the Board and Minister is just a ceremonious position.

The newly-appointed Chairman claims that he has 25 plus years, $250 billion investment, M&A, restructuring and capital markets experience across industries in frontier, emerging and developed markets. He has served in critical roles at JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Citi in Karachi, Hong Kong, London and New York.

With the appointment of new chairman, uncertainty appeared to prevail amongst the top brass of Privatisation Commission.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN