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Sri Lanka hands over Hambantota port to Chinese company, gets $292m

Staff Writer | December 10, 2017
Sri Lanka formally handed over commercial activities in its main southern port to a Chinese company and received $292 million out of a $1.12 billion deal, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
Hambantota port
Shipping   China Merchants Port Holdings
The deal, signed in July, will see China Merchants Port Holdings, handling the Chinese-built Hambantota port on a 99-year lease. The port is near the main shipping route from Asia to Europe and likely to play a major role in China’s “Belt and Road Initiative.”

“Today we received $292 million as the first tranche of the Hambantota Port joint venture. This is but the first step in realising the true commercial value of the port after seven long years,” Samaraweera said.

The $1.5 billion port opened in 2010, but was incurring losses due to lack of commercial activity.

Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the government would receive a further 10 per cent, or about $100 million, in a month and another $585 million in six months.