Sri Lanka to sell hotel stakes, possibly within six months

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Sri Lanka plans to put two state-owned hotel companies up for sale within the next six months in a sale that could raise $500 million for the island nation as it seeks to bolster its finances, the State Finance Minister said on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka faces repayments on expensive infrastructure foreign loans starting this year and already has a hefty debt burden, while its rupee currency has plumbed record lows.

“We’re going through the legal hoops of preparing (the sales),” State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne told Reuters in an interview. “It will maybe take six months to get over that.”

The government began a search for investors in January for the Grand Hyatt Colombo and for a 51 percent stake in a five-star hotel in the capital Colombo that Hilton International runs under a management contract.