Cabinet nod for amendments

Cabinet Co-Spokesmen Gayantha Karunathilleke and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera speaking at the Cabinet briefing held at the Government Information Department premises yesterday. Picture by Gamini Ramanayake

As the takeover of Hambantota Port by China Merchant Port Holdings Company Limited (CMPort) draws near,Cabinet yesterday brought in amendments to the share ownership structure of the public private companies established under CMPort and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

On July 25, 2017, CMPort, SLPA, the Government, Hambantota International Port Group (Private) Limited (HIPG) and Hambantota International Port Services Company (Private) Limited (HIPS) signed the Concession Agreement in relation to the development, management and operation of the Hambantota Port.

In the signed agreement CMPort agreed to invest an amount of up to USD 1,120.00 million into the Hambantota Port and Hambantota port and marine-related activities, of which the total amount to be paid to SLPA for the acquisition of the 85% issued share capital of HIPG shall be USD 973.658 million and HIPG would use a portion of that to acquire 58% issued share capital of HIPS.

The above now has been amended to allow 85 percent of the initial equity share capital of the HIPG to be held by CMPort and its affiliates and 15 percent of the equity share capital to be held by the SLPA. In addition, 58 percent of the initial equity share capital of the HIPS will be held by the HIPG while 42 percent of the equity share capital of this will belong to SLPA.

In November, Cabinet also amended the Concession Agreement to change the payment clauses to allow 30 percent of the sum to be paid on the date of signing, 10 percent after a month since signing and to pay the remaining 60 percent within six months of signing.

CMPort will take over operations of the Port on Saturday, December 9. 

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