Sri Lanka aims to create an Asian shipping hub capable of competing against Singapore and Dubai by pouring $3.4 billion into expanding ports with Chinese help, after the island’s container volumes surged to a record.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s goal of capitalizing on the end of a 26-year civil war to build a trade gateway to emerging markets makes shares in John Keells Holdings Plc (JKH) and Aitken Spence & Co. Plc a buy, says NDB Aviva Wealth Management Ltd. Port revenue may almost triple to 72 billion rupees ($658 million) in 2015 from 2010, Standard Chartered Plc estimates.
“Sri Lanka can transform its economy by boosting its ports infrastructure,” said Samantha Amerasinghe, a Colombo-based economist at Standard Chartered. “Peace provides an opportunity to take advantage of a historic shift that will put the island at the center of the biggest trade routes of the future.” More...