KARACHI: The Hascol Petroleum Ltd (HPL), a share of which was worth Rs313 on June 29, 2018, has now been declared defaulted by the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX); the PSX added the company to the defaulters’ list. After three years, its share was being traded at Rs8.26 last Friday.

Hascol is the second-largest oil company in Pakistan, which has now defaulted around Rs60 billion. 

Despite such a significant financial default in Pakistan’s history, the government did not initiate any inquiry or investigation against the company. The company, in its statement, has accepted that the internal auditors of HPL submitted evidence to its Board of Directors (BoDs) regarding the ‘false purchase orders‘ and misappropriation in the company during 2019.

The HPL chairman Alan Duncan released the statement in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) said, “the company’s Internal Auditor received a whistleblower statement and evidence from within the company that in 2019 a series of false purchase orders were created and entered into the company’s books. The internal auditor, as required by the procedure, referred the matter to the Board Audit Committee, which, at its meeting last week, concluded that there is sufficient evidence in support of the accusation to justify referring the matter to the full Board of Directors.”

Recently, the management of the PSX has put the name of Hascol Petroleum Ltd on the list of defaults for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the exchange. Hence, the share trading of the company has been suspended at PSX.

The company’s basic allegation failed to hold the annual general meeting for the shareholders and the submission of annual audit accounts for the year 2020.

However, a media report said that the company had defaulted around Rs23 billion of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Rs6 billion of Habib Metropolitan Bank (HMB), Rs5 billion of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Rs4 billion of Band Alfallah Limited (BAFL), Rs5 billion of Meezan Bank Limited, Rs4 billion of Askari Bank, Rs1.5 billion of Dubai Islamic Bank, Rs4 billion of Askari Bank, Rs2 billion of Silk Bank.

HPL was incorporated in Pakistan as a private limited company on March 28, 2001. On September 12, 2007, the company was converted into a public unlisted company. The company obtained an oil marketing license from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in the year 2005 and acquired assets of an LPG licensed company in the year 2018.

The company is engaged in the procurement, storage and marketing of petroleum, chemicals, LPG and related products.

The author is a senior business reporter with bylines in leading newspapers and magazines across Pakistan.


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