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October 25, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s conglomerate John Keells Holdings Ltd Wednesday said it has raised its ownership in port operator South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd to 33.75 percent. "The success of SAGT further proves the ability of Sri Lankan companies to develop and add value to large scale infrastructure projects," Ratnayake added. Prior to the acquisition, JKH owned 26.25 percent in SAGT.

JKH said it paid 3.6 billion rupees for the 7.5 percent stake earlier owned by CDC Investment Holdings.

SAGT owns and operates the Colombo Port’s Queen Elizabeth Quay.

"Volumes at SAGT have grown by 39 percent year-to-date, over the same period last year. We are convinced that SAGT and the Port of Colombo have tremendous potential for further growth," JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake said in a statement.

For September, SAGTs volumes were up 60.5 percent to 125,059 TEUs (Twenty foot Equivalent Units).

This has helped year to date volumes to rise 39.1 percent to 978,942 TEUs, the company said.

Growth from Jan-Sept ‘06 has mainly come from lower margin transshipment volume which accounted for about 75 percent of the business.

JKH transportation sector assoc

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