Hilton Hotel sale may take time

The Sri Lankan government’s majority stake sale in Hotel Developers (Lanka) Ltd. is unlikely to go through soon as had been expected earlier, an official at the government’s privatization body said Friday. The Sri Lankan government’s majority stake sale in Hotel Developers (Lanka) Ltd. is unlikely to go through soon as had been expected earlier, an official at the government’s privatization body said Friday. “There are several legal issues that have to be sorted out. The process may take about 3-4 months,” the official told Dow Jones Newswires.

There has been heavy demand for the company’s shares in the past few days amid market talk the government may sell it’s 64% stake before next month’s budget in a bid to boost revenue.

A strong outlook for the country’s tourism industry has also attracted buyers to leisure stocks recently.

Hotel Developers owns the five-star Colombo Hilton.

Analysts say diversified Aitken Spence & Co., garments manufacturer and exporter MAS Holdings, and tea exporter MJF Group are among the parties that have shown interest in the stake.

Sri Lanka had planned to raise Rs.13 bn through the sale of state assets in 2004, but there haven’t been any