Study Group

March 23, 2007 (LBO) – A four-member committee has been appointed to study the proposed sale of Sri Lanka Telecom shares held by Japan’s NTT to a Malaysian firm, a cabinet minister said. Sri Lanka Telecom closed up 50 cents at 38.50 Friday. “The committee will have to study it and report back to the cabinet,” Telecommunications Minister Rauf Hakeem told LBO.

Four ministries including finance and telecommunications would be represented in the committee, he said.

The cabinet paper had been put forward by the finance ministry.

The Sri Lanka government has a 49.5 percent holding of SLT through the Treasury while NTT has 35.2 percent and the public 15.3 percent.

Though there was media report that cabinet approval had been given on March 21 to sell the government stake in Sri Lanka Telecom, Hakeem said he had no knowledge of such a decision and he would study the proposal in detail.

NTT Communications Corporation of Japan owns a 35 percent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom, but control is still with the Sri Lanka government.

SLT said NTT was in talks with Global Telecommunications Holdings N.V., which was a subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Usaha Tegas Sdn. Bhd, ‘o