Who will own our national assets after polls?
Posted on October 15th, 2019

BRIGADIER RANJAN DE SILVA Courtesy The Island

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What every voter should ask the UNP and Pohottuva presidential candidates is who is answerable and accountable for the Rs 11 trillion national debt.

In the UK the national service and public assets are now owned by several foreign companies and institutions. Will this happen to Sri Lanka after the Presidential election on 16th November 2019? This is what has happened to UK:-

Let’s start with Railways – At Romford station in the London borough of Havering, there is a choice of trains to London: you can travel on one run by the Dutch, or one run by the Chinese going to neighbouring Basildon, change at Upminster and buy a ticket from the Italian firm that operates C2C.

ScotRail is operated by Abellio, which is wholly owned by the Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen. Abellio also owns 60% of Greater Anglia trains (the remaining 40% is owned by the Japanese company Mitsui. West Midlands trains 70% is owned by Abellio, the remaining 30% is shared between Mitsui and the Japanese company JR East.

Arriva Rail London is operated by Arriva, which is owned by the German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn. Arriva also operates Chiltern Railways and Cross Country, Grand Central and Northern.

The already mentioned C2C is owned by the Italian government’s Trenitalia.

Eurostar is operated by EIL which is owned by the French government’s SNCF (50%) Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ – Canada) (30%), Hermes Infrastructure (10%) which is majority-owned by a US investment fund and NMBS/SNCB (5 %) which is the state railway company of Belgium.

The Chinese corporation MTR owns TfL Rail and 30% of South Western Railway.

Transport for Wales is owned by Keolis, a Franco-Quebecois (France/Canada) private operator of public transport.

In fact,. European state railways now own more than a quarter of the UK’s passenger train system.

The Energy sector: London Electricity, SWEB, Seeboard and British Energy are owned by EDF Energy, a subsidiary of the French Government-owned energy company EDF (Electricite` de France) Group. Powergen is owned by the German group EON. Calortex – Independent Energy and Midlands Electricity are owned by Npower, a subsidiary of German energy company RWE Group.

ScottishPower is a subsidiary of Spanish company Iberdrola, which also owns Manweb, the energy company supplying Merseyside and North Wales.

Water – Anglia Water is owned by a consortium consisting of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Colonial First State Global Asset Management (owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia), IFM Investors (an Australian investment management firm) and 3i; the same consortium also owns Hartlepool Water.

Northumbrian Water is owned by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (Hong Kong). Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings also owns Essex and Suffolk Water.

Wessex Water is owned by YTL Corporation (Malaysia). Affinity Water is part owned by Morgan Stanley (USA). South East Water is owned by Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund /Utilities Trust of Australia. Sutton and East Surrey Water is owned by Sumitomo Corporation (Japan).

Communications – Level 3 Communications (USA) owns a national optical fibre network. 02 runs a GSM-900 network and is owned by Telefonica (Spain). EE runs a GSM-1800 network and is a joint venture of Orange (France) and Deutsche Telecom (Germany). IFM Investors (Australia), owns the telecommunications company Arqiva, in addition to owning Manchester airport, the MM6 tollway and part owning Anglian Water

Bus Transport: Arriva Buses is owned by the German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn. Bus and coach companies are also owned by ComfortDelGro (Singapore), RATP (France) and Transdev (France).

Airports: Heathrow, Glasgow and Southampton airports are owned by the Spanish Ferrovial (25%), Qatar Holdings (20%), and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (12.62%).(Canada). Gatwick airport is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners (USA). The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Canada) owns 48.25% of Birmingham airport. Manchester airport is owned by IFM investors (Australia)

Tollways – The MM6 toll –way is owned by IFM (Australia)

(Source: Internet)

No fewer than fifteen (15) countries Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Spain and US – are taking away from UK the profits from these public assets which should accrue to the benefit of UK’s citizens. The reasons for this are another story too long to tell here. Suffice it to say, this is the genesis of Brexit – its nuts and bolts. Brexiters are fighting to take them back. Its touch and go. Hope it’s not too late for Britishers. Hope it’s not too late for Sri Lankans.

BRIGADIER RANJAN DE SILVA

[email protected]

2 Responses to “Who will own our national assets after polls?”

  1. aloy Says:

    It seems UK was heavily in deep trouble in 80s with lots of debts. But there was a stable government in Mrs. Thather and the investors must have seen the potential of North sea oil. Then the debts became assets and investors came running. So, what is important is the perception of the investor (perhaps perception index). Rs. 11 trillion is nothing. If properly utilized our Graphite alone can clear this.

    Looking at the way our stock market is behaving in the last couple of weeks and looking at the number of articles appearing in this website today that expect Gota’s win, I can see that change for the better is happening.

  2. aloy Says:

    Sorry for my first line.

    I think Gota should limit his appearances in the campaign. They should keep in mind what happened to Lalith A and Upali W.

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