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From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Industry watchers say the move would not shift the local operations strategies as the parent entity- Hutchison Whampoa expects to remain the majority shareholder of the new entity, such that revenue, assets and liabilities will be consolidated into Hutchison Wampoas accounts. rn

rnHutchison Telecommunications Int., the new spin-off is valued at over US$ 4 bn and has applied for a listing in the Hong Kong Exchange. rn

rnThe Sri Lankan operation along with the second-generation mobile networks in India, Thailand, Israel, Macau, Ghana and Paraguay fall under the new entity to be listed. rn

rnHowever, Hutchison officials are yet to disclose the quantum of the Initial Public Offer. International wire services report that the IPO could help raise part of the US$ 2 billion the conglomerate needs to pay for increased 3G expenditure.rn

rnFitch Ratings Hong Kong meanwhile, believes the proposed separate listing of Hutchison Telecommunications Int., Limited by Hutchison Whampoa is moderately credit positive