The Sri Lankan Government on Friday returned a sum of Rs 5.7 billion that was spent by Harry Jayawardena-controlled Distilleries Corp. (DCSL) to pay for the privatisation of Sri Lanka Insurance and this new cash is likely to be used by the company to develop new businesses or invest in existing ones, brokers said.
"The company may also opt for increasing its (controlling) stake in Aitken Spence where DCSL has been buying more shares in recent times. Its insurance company, Continental Insurance is another option for investment but this is a huge amount and options are wide for the company - maybe in new businessness," one broker said.
The money was returned to DCSL subsidiary Milford Holdings which had secured 510 million shares to buy the state-owned insurance company but which subsequently reverted to the government after the Supreme Court cancelled the privatisation order. DSCL informed the Colombo Stock Exchange of the receipt of the money on Friday.