Sri Lankan number two Mobitel is set to be spun off from its parent firm, the state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom.
The country’s government is divesting its interests in several state-owned businesses in order to narrow the focus of its investment portfolio. This move is intended to raise around $1 billion that will go towards paying down some of the country’s debt.
The government is looking to shift some or all of its 49.5% stake in Mobitel at some point this year, and will list its holding on the Colombo Stock Exchange, although details have not yet been disclosed.
Mobitel has been a subsidiary of STL for over 14 years, and brings in 45% of the parent firm’s total revenue. It is the country’s second largest operator with a 22% market share, significantly lower than the 46% share enjoyed by market leader Dialog Axiata.
The operator is in the process of building out its network to cover 100% of Sri Lanka’s population; it currently has 3,300 base stations across the island nation and is aiming to boost this number by 2000.