Dialog Axiata, the largest mobile operator in Sri Lanka, showed its interest in becoming a major player in the finance sector with the acquisition of a listed finance company, Mirror Business reported.
The operator recently announced the acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Colombo Trust Finance (CTF) from Cargills Bank for about LKR1 billion ($6.48 million), the newspaper said. The operator said the Monetary Board approved the deal, which still needs to be cleared by CTF shareholders.
Dialog Axiata said in a statement the acquisition will facilitate the expansion of the scope of its operations into the sphere of mainstream digital financial services. It aims to bring together advanced digital connectivity and financial technology to deliver a suite of products and services which will expand financial inclusion in Sri Lanka.
The operator, with a 46 per cent share of the country’s mobile connections, said it will focus on financial services aimed at increasing affordability and accelerating the adoption of digital devices and services for a wide spectrum of consumers and businesses.
CTF will be integrated into Dialog’s digital services portfolio.
The company was licensed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to operate the country’s first mobile payment service eZ Cash in 2012. More than 2.8 million people use eZ Cash on Dialog’s network along with rivals Etisalat and Hutch’s networks, Mirror Business reported.
Dialog also operates the Touch contactless transport payment service under licence by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.