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State hotel sales to go ahead next month: Finance Minister

Sri Lanka’s is expecting to sell the owning company of Colombo Hilton and another partially completed building where a Hyatt is expected to be housed within the next month, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

 

“We’re hoping, especially the Hilton and the Hyatt, will be privatized within the next month, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

 

The government had initially announced plans to sell the two hotels, along with five other non-strategic state-owned enterprises, under the 2016 and 2017 budgets.

 

However, the process of privatization had faced delays, Samaraweera said.

 

“The divesture of non-strategic state-owned assets has taken longer than expected, but this process is being fast tracked, and we expect to see results soon,” Samaraweera said.

 

“This will raise finances for the Treasury, and more importantly will create space for private enterprise to drive these sectors.”

 

Sri Lanka had sought investment advisors to market the properties among prospective investors.

 

Hotelivate Pvt Ltd, Jones Lang Lasalle Property Consultants (india) Pvt Ltd, KPMG, Lazard Asia Limited are among the shortlisted advisors.

 

The holding company of the 350 room Hilton Colombo posted Rs. 9.5 million in net profits for the first quarter of 2018, down from 32.3 million rupees a year earlier.

 

However, it has accumulated 6.6 billion rupees in losses. Hotel Developers (Lanka) has 15.3 billion rupees in assets, and a net asset per share of 6.87 rupees.

 

The government had said will sell 51 percent of the shares Hotel Developers on an ‘all or nothing’ basis through the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

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