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 Govt keen to offload Biman shares soon...............

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PostSubject: Govt keen to offload Biman shares soon...............   Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:45 pm



The government wants to offload shares of state carrier Bangladesh Biman Airlines at "its earliest convenience", civil aviation and tourism minister GM Quader said Thursday.

"We are keen to do it as Biman needs funds to buy new planes," he told reporters, emerging from a capital market fair at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.

The national flag carrier has signed a deal with the Boeing Company to buy 10 'new generation' aircraft—four 787-8s or 'Dreamliners', four 777-300 ER and two 737-800s.

But, the minister said, before Biman could be floated in the capital market, its transformation into a public limited company has to be ratified by parliament.

Biman was converted into a PLC in 2007 by an ordinance of the past caretaker government.

"Once parliament approves it, we will start the procedure for offloading shares."

'Share Bazar'

The three-day 'Share Bazaar Mela 2009' kicked off Thursday at the Sheraton's Winter Garden, in a bid to educate investors and create more buzz in the capital market.

The minister attended the fair's inaugural session as chief guest.

He told the audience listing on the capital market makes businesses more transparent and accountable.

Quader told the press afterwards that they would also look into public listing of the city's Sheraton and Sonargaon Hotels.

"Though they are facing no problem repaying bank loans taken for renovation and modification," he added.

On the Bangladesh's state-run tourism corpoatation, he said: "We are not decided about Parjatan Corporation as some modifications of laws would be required for floating that."

He said that the ministry, however, was always looking for ways to raise public funds for expansion of the tourism industry rather than going for bank loans.

The opening of the fair also heard from Sheraton's top official Trevor McDonald, SEC acting chairman Mansur Alam, DSE president Rakibur Rahman and CSE vice president Al Maruf Khan.
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