Business Times

SLIC to shed some stakes to fund mega state projects

The Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) will shed some of its strategic stakes in a bid to find money to fund many state projects lined up for next year, according to informed sources. “SLIC funded the Shell Gas (now Litro Gas) buyout last month and is planning on divesting parts of its strategic holdings early next year in order to fund some other such projects,” a senior SLIC official told the Business Times. The government owned 49% of Shell Gas and then acquired the balance 51% from Shell Gas Lanka Limited for US$ 63 million through SLIC.

Recently SLIC, which reverted to the government two years ago after privatization earlier, shed 10% in Asiri Surgical Hospital to the Softlogic Group in a negotiated deal for Rs 502 million. The official said this stake was divested in order to ‘manage’ its portfolio better. He said that the insurance giant will also buy into other strategic stakes next year and manage its share portfolio.

According to him what will most interest SLIC will be the large stakes in some state entities which will be publicly listed next year. “We will definitely be considering the Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) by state entities next year,” he added.

He said that SriLankan Airlines and also SriLankan catering IPOs that will be out next year are on the SLIC’s prospective list.

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