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China Merchants to raise stakes by 30% in Sri Lankan port

Jan. 30, 2012 (China Knowledge) - China Merchants Holdings (International) Co Ltd<0144>, the country's second-largest port operator, has announced plans to increase its stakes by 30% in a container port in Colombo, Sri Lankan, for US$5.5 million.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the Hong Kong-listed buyer will hold an 85% stake in the container port operator Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd or CICT from Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.

CICT is building and operating the South Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo, said a person familiar with the matter.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority, which has a 15% stake in CICT, is likely to acquire another 6.43% stake from China Merchants. But no agreement has been inked.

Last August, China Merchants inked a deal with the Sri Lankan government to develop the same South Container Terminal, which is expected to go into operation in the first phase by early 2013.

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