March 17, 2012 / 5:41 AM / 7 years ago

Malaysia's Khazanah buys Sri Lankan John Keells stake for $120 mln

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s state investment arm Khazanah Nasional has bought an 8.9 percent stake in Sri Lankan conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH) for 366 million ringgit ($119.71 million), Khazanah said late on Friday, as it seeks to diversify its portfolio.

Khazanah’s purchase in the property-to-financial services conglomerate comes as Colombo looks to boost foreign investment in local stocks.

“The entry into JKH offers Khazanah and its group of companies opportunities to participate across a wide range of businesses where the JKH group is involved in,” Khazanah Managing Director Azman Mokhtar said in a statement.

“At the same time, it allows Khazanah to participate in Sri Lanka’s positive growth story, and is in line with our strategy of investing in the region.”

On Friday, Reuters reported Khazanah acquired 74 million shares in JKH in 29 block deals for about $120 million. ($1 = 3.0575 ringgit) (Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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