Mobitel, Sri Lanka’s second largest mobile operator, will be spun off from state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), its parent, and listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange during 2017.
The government, which holds a 49.5 per cent stake in SLT, plans to sell part or all of its interest in Mobitel as part of a broader sale of its investments in a number of state-owned enterprises, Business Times reported.
Mobitel’s market share stands at 22 per cent behind market leader Dialog Axiata on 46 per cent. Details of the stock market listing for the operator, a subsidiary of SLT for more than 14 years, have not been finalised.
A cabinet committee recently announced the decision to streamline the government’s portfolio of investments, which will allow it to raise at least $1 billion and pay down the country’s high debt, the newspaper said.
Mobitel accounts more than 45 per cent of SLT’s total revenue.
The operator is expanding its network to cover 100 per cent of the population, with plans to add nearly 2,000 base stations to take its total to 5,300 sites nationwide.