STO puts resort development plans on hold

The State Trading Organisation (STO) has put plans to purchase a resort property on hold, citing “current economic conditions” as a barrier to any potential deal, local media has reported.

Back in June, STO announced its intentions to venture into the Maldives tourism industry, with the company targeting the purchase of “at least three resorts and one hotel” as part of attempts to increase its access to foreign currency.

However, the Sun Online news service yesterday quoted STO Managing Director Shahid Ali in announcing a temporary halt to the company’s resort purchase ambitions.

According to the report, the company remains committed to the ongoing construction of a 5-star hotel on  Hulhumale’ under a contract with USA-based multinational travel company, Carlson Group.

The STO is the Maldives’ state-owned importer, and is the primary supplier of general goods, fuel and pharmaceuticals to the Maldives. It also supplies aviation fuel to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

STO had formerly operated a resort property in the country, before selling it to a private group in 2007. Shahid had told Sun Online this week that the group had been focused on developing the island of Muthaafushi.