Jan 02, 2018

SLT faces liquidity issues

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is facing liquidity issues as its liquidity was inadequate as at end September last year, with cash of Rs.6 billion at hand to meet heavy debt for banks. 

The un-drawn bank lines of Rs.10 billion were also insufficient to fund short term debt of Rs.26 billion and the annual free cash flow deficit of around Rs.7 billion. 

Cash flow from operation could fall short in funding large capex plans to expand the group's optical fibre infrastructure and 3G/4G mobile networks.

SLT's 2017 capex was expected to reach about Rs.25 billion, or 34% of revenue, before moderating to Rs.20 billion-23 billion per year. SLT's fibre investments are likely to have low returns due to the country's low broadband tariffs. Dividends are likely to remain similar to historical levels of Rs.1.6 billion.

SLT which operates under an executive committee headed by Chairman P.G. Kumarasinghe is planning tore-finance its short term debt, as the company has showed capability of accessing capital from local banks and capital markets.

This committee comprising three directors of Maxies, Chan Chee Beng , Lawrence Paratz ,Lai Choon Foong and SLT board director A R Desapriya will ensure smooth continuity of operations and effective decision making in SLT Group during the transition period, officials of SLT said.