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The Sharif Family

The Sharif Family

As promised at the end of the previous post, here’s some extended detail into the wealth of the Sharif family. Almost all comes from publicly available documents that the politically active members of the family have filed at the time of contesting elections, or regular asset declarations as members of legislature, as required by the law. Starting with some history.

The Ittefaq Group

Most accounts in Pakistan attribute the entire Ittefaq Group holdings to the Sharif family. That seems be largely untrue.  In 1998, as per Shahid-ur-Rehman’s book, 119 offsprings of the founder of the Ittefaq Group were fighting court cases on inheritance and asset division. The descendants of Ittefaq Group split into two business groups. Five brothers in one and two in another, with the majority five operating Ittefaq, Sharif and Haseeb Waqas Groups. He lists House of Ittefaq assets, as estimated by a H U Beg Committee in 1990, at Rs 10 Billion. Since then, asset distribution has led to some going off into an Al-Shafi Group which now controls some of the more valuable assets like the Ittefaq and Kashmir Sugar Mills. For assets which possibly weren’t distributed again after the initial split, they remain divided into the first, second and third generation descendants of 5 brothers: a number surely over 100 individuals.

Ittefaq Foundries itself went bankrupt quite a while ago, with unpaid loans on its book. To repay the loans, the unit was sold but the deal rejected by the banks. The case seems to be stuck in a legal limbo as of now. The electricity bill default from LESCO of Rs 40 million is from this same unit too, but it was long ago disconnected, when bankruptcy was filed. The classist nickname ‘lohar’ that the salariat class uses for the Sharifs, is no longer even true.

The following publicly listed companies were listed in 1998 (and continue to be mentioned as) to be belonging to the larger Ittefaq family: Brothers Textile Mills (KSE:BROT), Hasseb Waqas Sugar Mills (KSE:HWQS) and Khalid Siraj Textile Mills (KSE:KSTM). Brothers in it’s annual report does not list any Sharif family member amongst the larger shareholders. Haseeb Waqas Group is owned by the descendants of Mian Meraj Din, and split from the Sharif family. Khalid Siraj group belongs to the descendants of Mian Siraj Din, who is split from the Sharif family too. Both groups have their larger assets in publicly listed companies, and hence valuations available to the public. These two groups and their companies are often listed as part of Sharif net worth, but are not part of Sharif holdings. In short, the following assets listed for the politically active Sharifs actually do not belong to them:

  • Khalid Siraj Textile Mills
  • Brothers Textile Mills
  • Brothers Steel
  • Ittefq Sugar Mills
  • Ittefaq Steel Mills
  • Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills

Still commonly run is the Ittefaq Hospital, with it’s post-graduate training, nursing and paramedic schools. The hospital did the first neo-natal open heart surgery in Pakistan and apparently remains the leading hospital in the country for cardiovascular surgeries amongst children.

Note: Sharif Oil, Sharif Solvent etc belong to another group of a similar name.

The Sharifs

In this section, the Sharifs means the descendants of Mian Muhammad Sharif, the father of Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif.

The assets of the Sharif Group itself are going into three generations now. Within the immediate Sharifs, a distribution occurred in the mid 2000s, and the father left all three sons with individual housings in London too. From the Sharif Group’s own website, they claim around $300 million in business and $100 million in real estate holdings.

Mian Muhammad Sharif’s wife Shamim Akhtar owns the Jati Umra estate that the larger family resides in, and a lot of the family assets still. Nawaz has 2 sons (Hassan, Hussain) and 2 daughters (Maryam and Asma). Shahbaz has 2 sons (Hamza, Salman) and a daughter, Rabia Imran. Abbas Sharif had 2 sons and 2 daughters too. This brings the total living shareholders of the family estate in the first two generations to 18 (1 wife, 2 sons & their 3 wives + 1 rumoured, and  11 grandchildren). With great-grandchildren, the total descendants amongst whom family assets have been distributed will amount to around 40.

The Saudi assets involved a steel mill established in Jeddah after being forced into exile, started with a reported Rs 7 Billion in capital. The Al-Azizia Steel Mill was sold off after the death of the family head, Mian Muhammad Sharif to an Al-Tuwairqi Group conglomerate, with whom the family had earlier done investments with. It seems they wrapped up the major business in Saudi Arabia and only hold diversified investments there. The family’s earlier investment, a steel mill in the UAE, set up after the Ittefaq assets were nationalized in the 70s, was closed far earlier. Long standing rumours that the family holds business interests in India have no specifics or the slightest verifiable details, and seem false.

Some of the older/more famous/major family assets have been/are in the process of being liquidated/pending court judgements. See here for some details.

In 1998, Shahid-ur-Rehman accused that the ladies of the Sharif family, naming Mariam, that they owned a “Gulshan Carpets” export business, that is listed in someone else’s name.

All the Sharif family owned private companies seem to have share valuation at Rs 10. The list of the companies is based on shareholding declarations of Nawaz Sharif, his wife, Shahbaz Sharif and his wives and Hamza Shahbaz and his wives.

Note: Due to FED not being included in these numbers, the total corporate tax burden can often be misrepresented. No tax paid might be due to loss making enterprises.

Khalid Siraj Industries seems to be Khalid Siraj Textile Mills, which as mentioned before belongs to another branch of the family, one generation above. Shahbaz had inherited shares in it, which now belong to Hamza. The 10,000 shares represent 0.0083% of the company’s total shares.

Ramzan Energy is registered, but not a full-fledged company yet. It is a bagasse power plant and was supposedly producing 2MW earlier, with a planned capacity of 100MW. Imran Khan mentioned this in his speeches recently, claiming an investment of Rs 7.5 Billion has been done for it. Salman Shahbaz confirmed the obvious and publicly declared, the ownership and the construction of the plant, but not the capital amount. It is expected to become operation in 2015.

Hamza Spinning Mills is in the SECP dormant companies list (CIUN 25077). It had an authorized capital of Rs 175 million and a paid up capital of Rs 27.35 million. Abbas & Company is registered with the SECP, but not in the FBR taxpayers directory. It may possibly be a holding company since the only two family members with interest in it are Mian Nawaz Sharif and his wife or just an extended family/friend’s, as they have nominal loans extended to this company. Quality Chicken is only held by the first wife of Shahbaz Sharif, and is not listed with the SECP, suggesting it’s defunct. Sharif Dairy Farms might just be sending all product to Sharif Milk Products or was in a loss, hence the zero corporate income tax.

Hudabiya Engineering and Paper Mills have a very long and industrious history of being accused of serving as a money laundering conduit, to an associated loan default case. It remains part of the Sharif family’s business empire, but they’ve moved on to more profitable investments like poultry feed, poultry, dairy and more. These businesses were set-up in the 2000s when the elder Sharifs were in exile, and run by Hamza.

The family also runs a charitable Sharif Trust. The trust runs a ‘Sharif Education city’ and ‘Sharif Medical City’ comprising of the Sharif College of Engineering and Technology, affiliated with UET Lahore, Sharif Medical and Dental College, the Sharif Institute of Applied Health Sciences, a full fledged hospital in the ‘Medical City’ and associated satellite consultant clinics.

Assets

All elected representatives have to file a statement of assets and liabilities of their self, spouse(s) and dependents with the ECP by the 30th of September each year, as per Section 42-A of the Representation of People’s Act 1976.

A glossary of the terms used:

N/A= Not available in the public domain due to various reporting differences (ECP forms, FBR forms, Wealth Statement forms at time of candidature for elections vs filing as current MNA/MPA).

If in light orange and italics like this: This means that the total is missing values from some elements. Say value for X from A and B was available, but not from C. Sum is from A and B then only. Real number must be including C, and hence higher than this. If in red, it means it is the last year’s figures.

Assets declared = What constitutes as ‘Net Assets’ in declarations to the ECP. Looking at the forms filed by various people (I can’t find legal clarity on it), immovable property inherited or gifted is mentioned, but valuations is listed as zero and hence contributes no additional value to the net assets. Hence, if I inherited 300 different plots of land, their present value is not added to my net assets. The actual net worth (even if immovable and illiquid) will obviously be higher, but ‘net assets’ are lower. Here is Imran Khan e.g.

IK

Federal IT = Federal Income Tax paid. This is non-agricultural income. As per Article 260 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution (Federal Legislative List), Part I, Section 47 and Income Tax Ordinance Section 41, all agricultural income, even rent derived, is exempt from federal income taxes and is taxed provincially, if so.

Agri income = Income declared to the FBR that fell under the net of agricultural income, and taxable only at the provincial level.

Prov Agri IT = Provincially imposed agricultural income tax paid.  The agricultural income and tax payments come from Form ‘A’ of the return filed under the Punjab Agricultural Income Tax Act, 1997 and the relevant payment challan, attested copies of both.

Mian Nawaz Sharif:

Assets filed at the end of September 2013 showed a sharp rise from the last year, to Rs  1.82 Billion and was commented upon in the media widely and Imran has cited this many times in his speeches too. A closer look at the asset details show what changed. During 2012-13 and the three years prior to that, there is agricultural land of 312 Kanal and 14 Marlas in Mouza Sultankay, Lahore that is listed as ‘gifted by mother’. The value listed for this is Rs 0, since it was gifted (see ‘Assets’ for an explanation). There are three other properties, with a total of 450+ acres that are similarly inherited/gifted. This is not unusual, obviously. Of the 14 properties that Imran Khan has listed in his assets, 10 are inherited and 1 (the Bani Gala house) is gifted (from the wife). When assets were filed for the first parliamentary year deadline, the Sultankay land was now listed as present property value of Rs 992 million, with cost of asset listed at Rs 74.5 million. I’m not sure if this is because the land was developed or zoning/category changed and hence listed as a valued asset. The other three inherited/gifted lands don’t have a stated asset value, as previously. If reporters had used publicly available documents more properly, it would’ve been clear what was the reason for the billion rupee rise in officially declared assets. It was land previously officially declared in assets, continuously, but listed value changed from nil to present value. There would have been no confusion related to/no basis of asking how assets increased by a billion had attention been paid by those asking the questions, or had the Sharif family clarified a simple accounting issue.

 

NS

Note: Each form shows self, spouse(s) and dependents. They have their own sheet and a sheet that combines their household figures

There is a Rs 1.125 million donation paid to the Sharif Trust from Kulsoom Nawaz in 2012, and perhaps annually. During FY2013, there is also a combined cash transfer & bank remittance from Hussain Nawaz of Rs 197 million, 190 in USD, 5 in EUR and 1.9 in PKR. During FY2011, he gifted Rs 31.7 million to Maryam and Rs 19.459 million to Hussain. these are the Qarz-e-Hasana non-taxable loans, from what I understand.

Mian Shahbaz Sharif

Shahbaz has high liabilities as overdrawn capital for Ramzan Sugar Mills, around Rs 110 million, and a similarly high mortgage on real estate outside Pakistan. which bring his personal net assets declared a bit down, compared to Nawaz. He has a London property under his own name. Here’s his properties.

SS

He gifted a son (Salman) a sum of 77.5 million, as per a 2012 wealth statement reconciliation form. A combined donation of 1.3 million to Fatima Memorial Hospital and Bahwala Victoria Hospital has been recorded too.

A lot of the land owned is under the name of his first wife, Nusrat, unlike Nawaz where it seems property has been transferred to sons.

Nusrat

Hamza Shahbaz Sharif

He owns little land (yet) and as explained later, Salman holds the larger share possibly. He’s married twice, like his father.

Conclusion

A huge caveat that large land holdings are not added to asset totals as inherited land value is not added to net assets in the ECP asset declarations. Moreover, for private unlisted companies, even though paid-up capital may be huge, the company can have not all the shares issued to shareholders, thus the holdings value (say nominal shares at Rs 10) will not reflect the actual paid-up capital or company’s real valuation. Moreover, Abbas Sharif’s 1/3rd share in the inherited properties and current ones is not listed, since he was not a public official.

Additionally, larger corporate holdings are held by Salman Shahbaz, who took over the handling of the family’s business affairs after Hamza entered public office. Hamza had been handling those things in the absence of the elder Sharifs, alongwith their brother Abbas Sharif. Before the elections, the family released some tax information haphazardly, and from those one can see that Salman Shehbaz had assets listed around Rs 462 million in 2010, and was rising, with his role as the family’s head of business.

Hasan Nawaz Sharif is listed as a director of three active, 3 non-trading and 7 dissolved companies in the UK. all three active companies have negative valuations due to liabilities beyond assets. Flagship Investments had a five year high net worth of £435,890 or Rs 72.7 million. Quint Paddington and Quint Gloucester are subsidiaries of Que Holdings.

The net worth of all the companies stands at Rs. 136.75 million, smaller than the personal non-inherited real estate net assets of the other Sharifs. Hasan Nawaz does not seem to be in a position to be the owner of a Rs 5.5 – Rs 8 billion apartment in London (the value of the apartment, cited by Imran Khan, changes depending on the day of the week). One Hyde Park has 86 units and Hasan Nawaz doesn’t seem to be in that league. Imran’s rants convinced one person to file a petition at LHC, asking the court to stop Hasan Nawaz from selling his unit at One Hyde Park, since ownership was established by the Container Proclamations.

The numbers, some partial, for Nawaz + wife, Shahbaz + wives, Hamza + wives and Salman come out to be:

The figure with the most values added is Federal Income Tax for 2013. The rest are partial, with figures for one or the other unavailable for various elements. Agricultural income tax payments shown are from Nawaz and Shahbaz only as it has to be mentioned in the nomination form. There must be additional payments from other family members.

These numbers suggests that the Sharif family is paying at least Rs 14.26 million in federal income taxes. The provincial agricultural income tax paid by the elder two is around Rs 4 million too. Their family owned companies are paying at least Rs. 70 million in corporate income taxes, duties such as the FED, not included.

I’m not sure what to estimate as the total net worth of the larger family. All their companies are privately held and inherited land holdings are not valued in asset declarations. Based on their own estimate of $400 million from sometime ago, it would be acceptable to suggest a Rs 40-50 Billion business empire. But as mentioned, this includes holdings split amongst nearly 20 adults and then further amongst possibly 20 or more descendants, and increasing. They have kept a very united family unit. Shahbaz is deferential to his elder brother and their relations have always been harmonious. They continue to have business holdings together and the family estate has no issues either.

From there, one can guesstimate that personal holdings for Nawaz Sharif alone might be around Rs 5-10 Billion, which is $50-$100 million, not $1.4 billion or $1.8 billion or $9.8 billion that fake lists would have you believe. This would probably bring Nawaz Sharif into the top 100 richest individuals in Pakistan, maybe a bit below that too. A large portion of these holdings are illiquid (total cash in-hand and bank deposits combined for Nawaz Sharif and his wife are Rs 140 million) and constant industrial investments in Pakistan. The family is by no means poor, and neither have they ever claimed of being so.

If there are any errors or omissions, please let me know. I’ll make changes or include things after checking them out.

About Shahid Saeed

Shahid likes to waste time reading history.

2 comments

  1. Good article but you guys are not getting enough traffic..maybe you can also publish your posts on some other sites such as ET or Dawn blogs..

  2. couple quibles. The 7 immediate descendants were not brother but rather sets of brothers (not sure if 2 sets or 3 sets, they were cosigns). I can confirm Brothers & Khalid Siraj are not owned by NS or SS. Moreover, 135 Upper Mall is itself disputed (as are other properties likely)