ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government is considering selling down stock in LTL Holdings, a unit of Sri Lanka’s state-run power utility CEB, through an initial public offer, an opposition parliamentarian said.
Sunil Handunetti, a member of the Marxist, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party, which opposed privatization said a powerful economic committee under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is planning to reduce CEB’s 63 percent stake in LTL to 49 percent.
He sad LTL had avoided parliamentary oversight and oversight by auditor general for years despite majority state holdings, until the parliamentary committee on public enterprise managed to bring under parliamentary oversight.
He said LTL was expanding fast and even operations overseas, but he opposed the sell-down of the stake held by the government.
Handunetti read out documents, which he said referred to a meeting with the ministers and a proposal to ‘broadbase’ the ownership of the company.
The Lanka Transformers group was originally set up to make transformers for the CEB but when a foreign shareholder sold out, its management bought control.
It later moved to build independent power plants for the CEB. There are also related companies using the LTL brand, whose ownership structure is unclear.
Handunetti called upon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to confirm or deny that CEB’s stake in LTL will be reduced.
Power Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said all proposals will be considered and a suitable decision taken without directly confirming or denying the plan for a public offer. (Colombo/Dec07/2016)