Pending Deal

March 24, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom, the island’s dominant fixed access operator has not been informed of a date for the sale of a stake held by major shareholder NTT Communications of Japan, a top official said. SLT’s new chairperson Leisha De Silva Chandrasena, who represents the interests of the government of Sri Lanka which is a 49.5 percent shareholder of the telco, said NTT had not given notice of a sale or the replacement of any Japanese directors.

Under a shareholders agreement with the government, NTT, which owns 35.2 percent of the company, has the right to appoint a chief financial officer. If NTT sells more that 25 percent of its stake, the shareholder agreement becomes void.

NTT is planning to sell all or part of its stake to Malaysia’s Usaha Tegas group which owns Maxis, Malaysia’s top mobile firm.

Chandrasena said the Board’s attention had been drawn to the deal for over six months and a committee headed by SLT’s former chairman had also submitted a report to the government.

NTT’s shares had since been lodged in the Central Depository System of the Colombo Stock Exchange.

There has been feverish trading in SLT shares after a court ruling paved the way for the sale.

SL