Sri Lanka readies shareholder deal with China on Hambantota port

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had approved for signing with China, a shareholder agreement on two joint venture companies that will operate commercial and common user facilities at a port Hambantota, in Sothern Sri Lanka.

Hambantota International Port Group (Pvt) Ltd (HIPG) the firm that will operate the commercial facilities will be 85 percent owned by China Merchant Ports or nominees, the state information office said.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the state-run port agency, will own 15 percent of HIPG.

Hambantota International Port Services (Pvt) Ltd, which will own common user facilities will be 58 percent owned by HIPG, and 42 percent by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, under a proposal submitted to the cabinet by the ministry of ports.

Sri Lanka has given sweeping tax breaks to the two companies running up to 25 years.  HIPG is expected to invest 794 million dollars in commercialization and cargo handling operations, a notice by the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade said.

HIPs will invest up to 606 million US dollars, in areas such as port security, navigational services, pilotage, anchorage, provision of aids to navigation, dredging, widening (capital and maintenance) emergency response and pollution control services. (Colombo/Dec07/2017)

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