Sri Lanka to sell Hilton hotel stake

Sri Lanka’s government plans to sell a stake in the Hilton Colombo, the only five-star business hotel in the capital, to help fund its budget, a hotel official said Monday. Sri Lanka’s government plans to sell a stake in the Hilton Colombo, the only five-star business hotel in the capital, to help fund its budget, a hotel official said Monday. The government wants to sell part of its 65 percent stake in Hotel Developers Lanka, which owns the Hilton Colombo, said S.R. Sudarshan, general manager at Hotel Developers.

The sale would be the government’s second since a Marxist-oriented party quit the coalition last month, in protest against an accord to share tsunami relief aid with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The government, which expects its budget deficit to widen to more than 9 percent of gross domestic product this year, this month sold a stake in Ceylon Hotels for 610.8 million Sri Lankan rupees, or $6.1 million.

“These sales are symbolic because they show the government wants to go ahead with economic liberalization now that the JVP are out of the government,” said Prabodha Samarasekera, a fund manager at National Asset Management in Colombo, referring to th