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Monday September 18th 2017

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Slumbering Pakistani steel giant shows why state sell-offs are stalled

logo_reuters_media_caBy Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Tommy Wilkes

KARACHI (Reuters) – Once the producer of almost half the country’s steel needs, state-owned Pakistan Steel Mills’ (PSM) cavernous factory buildings on the outskirts of Karachi stand eerily still.

A 4.5 km-long (2.8 mile) conveyor belt that once carried coal from the nearby port is idle and blast furnaces rest silent. Birds build nests in Soviet-era equipment and stray dogs nap outside abandoned plants.

The company is for sale, but the government cannot find a buyer as it struggles to get privatizations back on track after a series of setbacks. A glance at PSM’s finances may explain why.
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