S. Korea’s 3rd largest conglomerate keen on $600 mn. LNG project in SL
Posted on July 23rd, 2020

Courtesy The Island


SK E&S Co. Ltd., or SK Group, South Korea’s third largest conglomerate (Chaebol) is currently in talks with the Sri Lankan authorities on the establishment of a number of investment ventures in Sri Lanka, including a $600 million LNG project. The proposed project would be able to supply LNG to 930 MW power plants in Sri Lanka and would be run on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis, a press release issued by the Sri Lankan embassy in South Korea said.

The release adds –

‘The ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Korea, Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis, met with the top most management of SK Group, third largest conglomerate (Chaebol) in South Korea, to discuss investment and FDI with regard to Sri Lanka. In this context, Dr. Mendis met with the president and CEO of SK E&S Co. Ltd., Jeong Joon Yu as well as the members of the Board of Directors at the corporate head office of SK Group in Seoul, recently.

‘The SK Group is one of the largest corporates in the world in terms of revenue and market capitalization. In 2019, the revenue of the SK Group was USD 220 billion and the market cap. was close to USD 280 billion, thus making the SK Group amongst the 25 largest corporates in the world. The company has 95 subsidiary companies and employs over 70,000 across the world. The SK Group has a stellar global reputation in businesses such as chemical, petroleum, energy, wireless mobile services, financial services, telecommunication, construction, shipping and semiconductors, amongst others.

‘Further, the proposed mega project would create semi-skilled and skilled employment to nearly a 1,000 Sri Lankan nationals. The aforementioned project has been discussed and deliberated with the relevant authorities in Sri Lanka and is awaiting for due approvals. The CEO and Board of Directors of SK E&S further stated to Dr. Mendis that the SK Group is keen and eager to commit more investments in Sri Lanka, particularly, in sectors such as IT & ITES, construction and telecommunication, amongst others.

‘Ambassador Dr. Mendis stated that a strong and convincing presence of a corporate in the caliber of SK Group in Sri Lanka would emanate a positive sentiment and message to the international corporates and investors of the potentiality of Sri Lanka. Dr. Mendis also stated that the equity (stock) market of Sri Lanka known as Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) too is highly attractive to woo foreign institutional investments (FII) since the Price Earning (P/E) Ratio of the CSE is 10.8.

‘Any equity market having a P/E ratio of less than 15 with a vibrant and diversified economy would be highly desirable and financially sanguine for any large scale institutional investor, particularly, foreign investors and private equity (PE) firms. The top most management of SK E&S paid due heed to the economic and investment vistas of Sri Lanka and added that they would look at Sri Lanka positively and favorably. On a separate note, Dr. Mendis stated that recently the largest Commercial Bank in the Republic of Korea, KB Financial Group of Kookmin Bank, committed a mega investment in highly reputed and diversified “Blue Chip” Corporate of LOLC Group of Sri Lanka.’

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