PIA raises US$130m as debts mount

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

PAK­ISTAN’S na­tional flag car­rier has raised US$130 mil­lion in fresh fi­nanc­ing from a bank­ing con­sor­tium, as the air­line stag­gers un­der the weight of ear­lier loans to­talling more than $3 bil­lion. Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (PIA) said the fi­nanc­ing fa­cil­ity was ar­ranged by Pak­istan’s United Bank Lim­ited (UBL) and Credit Su­isse Sin­ga­pore as lead bankers, in ad­di­tion to the state-run Na­tional Bank of Pak­istan.

“The fa­cil­ity will be utilised by PIA for its gen­eral work­ing cap­i­tal re­quire­ments and in im­prove­ment in pas­sen­ger ser­vices,” PIA said in a state­ment.

How­ever, a PIA of­fi­cial re­quest­ing anonymity said the fresh loan might be utilised to help set­tle ear­lier loans and due pay­ments.

PIA’s cu­mu­la­tive loans stand at around 329 bil­lion ru­pees, ($3.16 bil­lion). It suf­fers heavy fi­nan­cial losses an­nu­ally, post­ing a 32 bil­lion ru­pee loss in 2015.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif’s gov­ern­ment tried to pri­va­tise the air­line ear­lier this year but its 18,000 em­ploy­ees fiercely re­sisted.

Two em­ploy­ees were killed in Fe­bru­ary as po­lice tried to clamp down on protest­ing em­ploy­ees out­side the air­line’s head of­fice in Karachi. –

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