Malaysian firm buys Japan’s NTT stake in Sri Lanka Telecom

April 1st, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by admin  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, April 1 (IANS) In a surprise development, Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) company Tuesday sold its 35.19 percent shares in the state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom for 32 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($297 million) to a Malaysian company. “The entire 35.19 percent Sri Lanka Telecom shares held by the NTT was bought by Malaysia’s Global Telecommunications Holdings at 50.50 rupees each,” a stockbroker, Mohandas V. Thangarajah of the First Guardian Equities told IANS.

He said the purchase by Malaysia’s Global Telecommunications Holdings, which also owns Maxis Communications in that country, has virtually “triggered the mandatory offer” for the smaller share holders of the Sri Lanka Telecom.

“This will help the market develop faster with several new foreign companies such as BSNL and Bharti Airtel expanding their operations in Sri Lanka,” Thangarajah said.

Sri Lanka Telecom, a giant monopoly in the island nation, is playing a crucial role of inter-connecting various regional players from as far as Hong Kong and Africa.

Sri Lanka Telecom, which controls 16 percent of the country’s cellular market, also has CDMA fixed wireless phones, and WiMax platforms.

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