Sovereign Influence

Mar 30, 2012 (LBO) – Fitch Ratings has confirmed Sri Lanka Telecom’s (SLT) long-term foreign-currency and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) at ‘BB-‘ and its national long-term rating at ‘AAA(lka)’. The outlook on the ratings is stable, the rating agency said in a statement.

“SLT’s IDRs are constrained by the respective sovereign IDRs of ‘BB-‘.”

This is mainly due to the government owning, directly and indirectly, over 51 percent of SLT and the absence of any explicit shareholder arrangement between it and SLT’s 44.9 percent shareholder – Malaysia’s Usaha Tegas – that could potentially dilute the government’s influence over SLT’s operations.

Any future change in the sovereign ratings will lead to a corresponding change in SLT’s ratings, Fitch said.

The full rating report follows:

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka Telecom PLC’s (SLT) Long-Term Foreign-Currency (FC) and Local-Currency (LC) Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BB-‘, respectively, as well as its National Long-Term rating at ‘AAA(lka)’.

The Outlook is Stable.

SLT’s IDRs are constrained by the respective sovereign IDRs of ‘BB-‘. This is principally due to the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) owning, di