Japan’s NTT said yesterday that it has not sold a 25% stake in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to the parent holding company of Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, correcting recent press reports. ‘It is not a fact that we sold our stake in SLT to Usaha Tegas Sdn’, NTT’s Vice President Jun Sawada said, adding that ‘…as of now we do not have any definitive agreement being made with investors.’ NTT, which owns a 35.2% stake in SLT, said in March that it had invited Usaha Tegas to study its books for a possible sale. Usaha Tegas, which is owned by Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan, said that discussions were still going on. ‘…[We] are engaged in ongoing discussions with NTT regarding the potential divestment of its interest in SLT,’ Maxis Director Augustus Ralph Marshall said. SLT was privatised in 1997, when the Sri Lankan government sold a third of the company to NTT for USD225 million. The government retains 49.5% of SLT, with the balance held by the public and employees.
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