Reliance Jio applies to enter Sri Lanka 


Jio, who leads the telecoms market in India, is hoping for an expansion into neighbouring markets 

Jio Platforms, the telecoms arm of Reliance Industries, is one of three companies who have expressed an interesting in purchasing the Sri Lankan government’s 50.23% stake in the state-owned firm, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT). 

SLT is the largest telco in the country, connecting over 8.5 million subscribers. 

According to a press release published late last week, the other two firms in the running to buy the stake are Portuguese holding company Pettigo Comercio International LDA and Fortune International Investment Holding Ltd. 

The Sri Lankan government invited companies interested in acquiring its shares in SLT to make themselves known back in November. The deadline to register interest passed on 12th January, hence the Finance Ministry were able to publish a list of the interested parties. 

Each registration of interest will be “evaluated as per the Special Guidelines on Divestiture of State-Owned Enterprises approved by the Cabinet of Ministers,” read the press release. The government will choose the winning bidder by the end of next quarter. 

The Sri Lankan government recently announced its intention to privatise various sectors to help overcome the country’s deep financial struggles, having been mandated to do some by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $3 billion loan agreed in 2023.  

The country began to see the effects of its worst economic crisis in history in 2022, when the country faced widespread power cuts and fuel shortages, which triggered countrywide protests. A state of emergency was declared across the country in June last year. 

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