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Sri Lanka Ports Authority can raise funds from stock market patriots for ECT: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Port Authority can raise capital from the Colombo Stock Exchange to build East Container Terminal if there is problem in financing the full cost of completing its development through loans, cabinet spokesman Udaya Gammanpila said.

Completing the partially built East Terminal may require up to 600 million dollars, according to some estimates that have been made public.

Sri Lanka banks have the knowledge to syndicate a loan for the project if one bank does not enough resources to fund it, Gammanpila said.

He said the terminal could also seek funds from the Colombo Stock Exchange if that was not enough.

“We witnessed huge interest among Sri Lankan people with regard to developing the ECT by ourselves,” he said.

“Therefore we believe, if we cannot finance with local banks in the form of a syndicated loan, the Ports Authority has the option of coming to the share market and inviting nationalist, patriotic Sri Lankans to come forward to invest in this strategically important project.”

State-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority unions and sections of the Buddhist clergy opposed a build operate transfer deal with India for the East Terminal.

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Companies can independently list their shares or debentures in the Colombo stock exchange.

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He said details of any financing would have to be clarified with the port.

Sri Lanka’s debt burden government has said it would seek private public partnerships for infrastructure and try to reduce debt. (Colombo/Mar08/2021)

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