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Sri Lanka: Environmental Resources to announce platinum subsidiary sale-Analyst.

Colombo, Jan. 24 -- The all time popular stock since 2009 among Sri Lanka's listed companies - Environmental Resources Investment PLC or much popular GREG had recently sold its major stake in a platinum company through its offshore investment company, Environmental Resources Ltd. in British Virgin Islands, according a top stock market analyst in the country.

The company will announce the sale of its platinum mining firm's stake according Director Research Sarath Rajapakse at the Capital Trust Securities.

Director Research, Capital Trust Securities, Sarath Rajapakse said that Colombo listed Environmental Resources Investment (ERI) PLC had recently sold a portion of its foreign owned stake at Eastern Platinum Ltd., amounting to 22 million shares through Toronto Stock Exchange (where Eastern Platinum Ltd is listed) and that money which ERI owned Environmental Resources Ltd in British Virgin Island would be utilized for a new investment.

"I don't know why Environmental Resources is delaying their announcement" said Rajapakse.

However, Environmental Resources Ltd. registered in British Virgin Islands had 24 million shares of Eastern Platinum valued at US $ 35.5 million (nearly Rs.4 billion) according Environmental Resources Investment PLC Annual report for the Financial Year ended in 2010.

When contacted by The Asian Tribune , the Environmental Resources Investment (ERI) PLC's Manager Corporate Affairs Harshanee Deshapriya said that "If there is such a sale, we will inform it to market in due time". However, none of the directors of ERI PLC were available for comments, at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile, as per reports, nearly 32 million shares of Eastern Platinum had changed hands in Toronto Stock Exchange on January 18, the date of which Environmental Resources is said to have done the transaction according to market sources and Sarath Rajapakse.

In July 2007, UK Based Hedge Fund Manager, Lionhart Advisors Group headed Lionhart Investments Ltd., acquired a controlling stake in Sri Lanka's Walker & Greig, a low performing listed shell company at the time by retiling it as Environmental Resources Investment (ERI) PLC, for Rs.76 million and had turn around Sri Lanka's Colombo Bourse at the peak of its performance while making the ERI PLC a group that come in to rescue and acquire Sri Lanka's sick companies such as Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC (DPL), Ceylon Leather Products PLC (CLPL), Colombo Pharmacy PLC,DNH Financial (Pvt) Ltd, Enterprise Technology (Pvt) Ltd, Olancom (Pvt) Ltd, Roomsnet International (Pvt) Ltd, and South Asia Textile Industries Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

In December 2009 Environmental Resources Investments PLC (ERI), announced it was acquiring 100% Environmental Resources Limited (ERL), "a company incorporated in British Virgin Island and holding assets of equity and debentures focusing in the platinum mining industry in South Africa, including Eastern Platinum Ltd".

Accordingly, ERI agreed to pay US $ 76 million to acquire all of British Virgin Island based ERL from Osiris International Trustees (OSTI) over a period of time through an installment payment of ten tranches with Sri Lanka's Exchange Control Approval while ERI PLC had so far paid 3 tranches via the ERI's rights issues and warrant conversions on 6 April, 19 May, 2 November 2010 in the sums of Rs. 432,454/-(US $ 6,426,740.24) and Rs. 714,792,266 (US $ 6,261,868.30) and Rs.606,100,000 (US $ 5,406,779.66) to OSTI to date.

On the other hand, Lionhart Investments continues remain as the biggest foreign investor in Sri Lanka's stock market being the major shareholder (over 80%) of Environmental Resources Investment (ERI) PLC.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:5BRIT
Date:Jan 24, 2011
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