Trading in shares of Colombo Stock Exchange-listed Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) have been suspended pending an announcement of an upcoming private placement. The board of directors of SLT has opted for a private placement of shares to meet the minimum public free float requirement set down by the Colombo bourse. Under the plan, SLT intends to issue 89.7 million ordinary voting shares, representing 4.74% of the issued shares of the company, to local and foreign institutional investors, the firm said in a statement. SLT says the price of the share issue will be determined after it carries out a share valuation, takes feedback from potential investors and finalises the thoughts and recommendations of its board. The proceeds of the funds raised through the private placement will be used to restructure the group’s debt portfolio by refinancing its short-term borrowings, it said.
The Sri Lankan government owns a direct 49.50% stake in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), registered to the Treasury Secretary, with additional stakes held by two other state institutions, Employees Provident Fund (EPF, 1.40%) and National Savings Bank (NSB, 0.73%), giving the state an overall interest of 51.63% as at November 2017. A 44.98% stake is held by Usaha Tegas, the parent group of Malaysian mobile network operator Maxis Communications, via Netherlands Antilles-based firm Global Telecommunications Holdings – itself wholly owned by Global Communications Investments, which in turn is 100% owned by Usaha Tegas. Bank of Ceylon (Ceybank Unit Trust) owns 1.01% and Sri Lanka Insurance holds 0.98%. No other shareholder owns more than 0.50%.