Still Trying

May 09, 2007 (LBO) — Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, Japan’s largest phone company, said Wednesday it has still not sold its flagship investment in Sri Lanka to the owner of Malaysia’s biggest mobile operator. SLT also controls 16 percent of the country’s cellular market through its mobile phone subsidiary. “It is not a fact that we sold our stake in SLT to Usaha Tegas Sdn (which owns Malaysia’s top mobile phone operator, Maxis Communications Bhd),” NTT’s Vice President, Jun Sawada told the local firm.

“¦as of now we do not have any definitive agreement being made with investors.”

SLT was queried by the Colombo Stock Exchange about the status of the sale, following media reports that a 25 percent slice held by NTT has already been sold to Maxis.

Speculation that Usaha Tegas, has concluded a deal with NTT, has driven SLT’s share price up in recent weeks.

NTT, which owns a 35.2 percent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom, in March said that it had invited Usaha Tegas to study its books for a possible sale.

Usaha Tegas, which is owned by tycoon Ananda Krishnan said that discussions were still going on.

“.. (we) are engaged in ongoing discussions with NTT regarding the potential divestmen