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Sri Lanka Telecom has picked UBS Warburg and Standard Chartered Bank as arrangers to its upcoming US$ 100 mn bond issue.
The five-year loan will carry a fixed interest rate. Mobitel will use up around 65 percent of the bond, and the balance spent to retire some of SLTs existing debts and roll out its network. rn

rnThe issue, which is due this year, will be the biggest fund raising exercise by a local firm to raise dollars in the international market.rn

rnThe fixed line operator saw its group net profits shrink by 14 percent for the first quarter ending March 31 endash largely due to depreciation costs incurred from Mobitel, its fully owned cellular subsidiary. rn

rnGroup made a Rs. 647 mn net profit during the period, down from Rs. 755 mn reported during the same period 2003. rn

rnBut SLTs net profit perked up 29 percent to Rs. 988 mn during the period under review, bolstered by higher traffic volumes.rn

rnThe telco giant controls 86 percent of Sri Lankas fixed-line market and a 15 percent of the cellular market. rn

rnJapans Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. or NTT controls 35 percent of SLT, while the government owns 49.5 percent. A 12 percent government stake was sold through an initial public offering last year and the employees own the balance. rn

rnAt the close of Mondays trading SLTs shares ended higher at Rs. 15.75 on 219,447 trades. rn

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-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlanka.comrn

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