The government is planning to list the country’s expressways and related assets via a State owned business entity in the Colombo Stock Exchange similar to Selendiva Investments Limited, which was established to hold key State-owned real estate and properties in Colombo, as part of the government’s broader framework to bring reforms into the State owned enterprise sector. To this end, the government has already set up a company called ‘Sahasya Investment Limited’ to own and operate expressways and other ancillary assets such as quarries.
While the company is still in the process of structuring operations, the listing of its shares will enhance the transparency through interim financial reports and mandatory disclosures and thereby enhance governance, which has been a bane with State-owned enterprise due to the appointment of political henchmen to their boards, making them fertile grounds for bribery, corruption, nepotism and inefficiency.
As the general public can also become stockholders of the country’s expressway network and related lands assets, such assets will naturally come under public scrutiny.
The establishment of Selendiva Investments Limited as a holdings company of State-owned real estate and properties in Colombo and the suburbs is similar to the model being followed ny Singapore and Malaysia in managing their state-owned business enterprises, just the way a private sector entity is being run. Selendiva Investments could also be floated by listing in the stock exchange.
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