Tele Saga

Nov 22, 2007 (LBO) – The hearing of the case against the sale of Sri Lanka Telecom shares by its Japanese shareholder to Malaysia’s UT group has been put off till February 25, court officials and laywers said. The Supreme Court halted the sale of shares of the country’s largest fixed access operator to a Malaysian firm in June, after a lawmaker filed suit against the deal.

At today’s hearing lawyers had presented a document from the Treasury to court.

Though no order had been made court had not lifted an interim order preventing the transaction from going ahead.

Court had remarked on the need for transparency and the involvement of the government in the deal, lawyers said.

Japan’s NTT which holds a 35.2 percent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom was negotiating to sell a 25.3 percent stake of the telco to the Usaha Tegas group of Malaysia controlled by billionaire Ananda Krishnan.

NTT has a contract to manage Sri Lanka Telecom which expires as soon as its stake falls below 10 percent.

The government which owns 49.5 percent of Sri Lanka Telecom has appointed a committee to work out a new management agreement with the Malaysian group.

Lawmaker Sripathi Sooriyarachchi who was