Settling Debts

Chandi Dharmaratne

Sept 14 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s private port operator South Asia Gateway Terminals said Thursday that it has raised 48 million dollars through a syndicated loan facility, to refinance old debt.

As at end August, volumes handled at SAGT was up 36.5 percent over last year, to 853,883 TEU’s, with high growth in lower margin transhipment cargo.

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) are lead arrangers for the four year loan facility at undisclosed rates, through a consortium of four banks.

Participating banks are Hatton National Bank, Seylan Bank Ltd, Indian Bank Ltd and State Bank of India.

Basically we are re-financing loans owed to Commonwealth Development Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Private Sector Infrastructure Development Company, Gamini Wijesurendra, Chief Financial Officer at SAGT, told LBO on Thursday.

These loans were taken to develop the Queen Elizabeth Quay. The loan has been paid up to three and a half years and now we are paying back the balance through a consortium of banks on better terms.

South Asia Gateway Terminals Pvt. Ltd won a concession in 1999 to run a container terminal at Colombo Port’s Queen Elizabeth Q