Sri Lanka’s government yesterday gave its approval to Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) to sell part of its stake in former fixed line monopoly Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to Malaysian company Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd, the parent of Maxis Communications. NTT, which owns a 35.2% stake in SLT, has been allowed to sell a 25.3% tranche, leaving it with a 9.9% holding. NTT paid USD225 million for its stake in 1997. The Sri Lankan government retains 49.5% of SLT’s equity, with the balance held by the public and employees. Usaha Tegas is owned by Malaysian tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan.
In related news, Sri Lankan Minister of Information and Media Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday scotched recent rumours that the government is planning to sell its shares in SLT.