Sri Lanka Telecom gets top billings from international rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s

International credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, have assigned investment grade ratings for Sri Lanka Telecom. International credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, have assigned investment grade ratings for Sri Lanka Telecom.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) have
given SLT a B+ rating for its upcoming US$ 100 mn unsecured debenture issue, SLT
CEO Shuhei Anan said Monday.

 

Foreign currency

Local currency

     
S&P B+ BB-
Fitch  B+ BB

SLT carries a AAA (sri) rating
from Fitch Ratings Lanka.

SLT is embarking on an
international roadshow to Singapore, Dubai and London later this year to raise
debt through a five year bond issue. Monies raised will be utilised to settle
loans and fund network rollout.

Subscription for the bonds,
which carry a fixed interest rate of 2.25 percent to 3.00 percent above the six
months London Interbank offered rate, opens at the sametime as the roadshow.

The issue is jointly managed by
Standard Chartered Bank and UBS Warburg.

The cash rich operator posted
net profits of Rs. 1,302 mn (down 27 percent), while revenues surged 15 percent
to Rs. 22.05 bn, for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2004.

The triple A rated telco giant
controls 86 percent of Sri Lanka’s fixed-line market and a 15 percent of the
cellular market.

Japan’s 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.

-LBO Newsdesk:
lboemail@vanguardlanka.com