State Trading Organization

State Trading Organization

company_name = State Trading Organization Plc.
company_type = Public
company_slogan =
foundation = Malé, Maldives (1964)
location = Boduthakurufaanu Magu Malé, Maldives
key_people = Ahmed Mohamed, CEO
num_employees = 802
industry = Consumer Electronics, Home Appliances, Medicals, Supermarket Products, and range of other high quality products| products = ""N/A""
homepage = []
operating profit = MRF 151 Million (2007)
revenue = profit MRF 5.1 Billioncite web | title=STO Annual Report 2007 | url= ] (2007)|

The State Trading Organization (MSE:STO [] ) or STO is a public company with 92.29% of the shares owned by the Maldivian Government with the rest 7.71% being held by the public after the IPO a couple of years ago. It is operated directly under the Ministry of Trade and Industries, and is controlled by a board of directors headed by a Chairman.


When STO took root in 1964, the outlook for the Maldives was grim to say the least. The population was a mere 100,000. The only communication with the outside world was the Morse code and the ham radio. The only airstrip was one put together by the British Royal Air force and inter-atoll transport was limited to trips on the traditional sailing dhoni.

The only resource available was fish, and consumers were at the mercy of importers. Even the most basic food items were expensive. The country had no banks development was slow with no local fund for major investments and no commercial industry.

The need for a central purchasing organization to raise living standards and encourage development was acute. The government responded with the establishment of the Athireegemaafannu Trading Agency (ATA) - the beginning of STO, and the catalyst of change in the Maldives.

ATA financed the purchase and import of essential items in bulk; sold them to the public at low mark-up prices and also purchased supplies for the government.

With proven success in contributing to national development, ATA expanded into the State Trading Organization (STO). The STO undertook all trading and commercial activity on behalf of the Maldivian government.

The nation was growing, and so were the nation's demands. Now the need was not just for staples like rice sugar and flow, but also for quality merchandise, improved construction material and for state-of-the-art consumer goods.

The winds of change were blowing across the nation and STO responded by looking beyond its traditional role of state trader. It began to take up alternative enterprises to earn foreign exchange and broaden the nation's revenue sources.

Building in a background of solid commercial success, STO has streamlined The Operation to where profit and viability are equally important as the need to ensure availability of essential commodities at affordable prices.

Now, STO has become the dynamic Organization demanded by a prosperous, rapidly developing country. The Maldivian economy is booming and STO, with diversified business, is a constant source of support.


STO People's Choice Electronics - Established in 1993, STO Electronics deals with branded consumer electronics including home theater systems, digital photography and video equipments, stereo and hi-fi systems and microsystems.

STO People's Choice Home Improvement - Established in May 1995, deals with home appliances, paints, power tools, furniture and cooling systems.

People's Choice Supermart - Established in 1991, Supermart is reputed to be the largest supermarket in the country. It also introduced supermarkets to the nation which provided an inexpensive mode of shopping to the public. Deals with merchandise ranging from toiletries, stationeries, canned and frozen foods, household items and consumer goods.

Staple Foods - Since the establishment of STO in the mid 60s, it has been endowed with the responsibility of ensuring availability of staple foods at reasonably affordable prices while maintaining high qualities.

People's Choice Construction - Established in 1988, deals with construction materials such as cement, river sand, deformed bars, plywood, timber, and roofing materials. It also functions as the main distributor of locally packed international standard cement and roofing sheets with the aide of its subsidiaries Maldives Marine Cement and Maldives Structural Products.

People's Choce Pharmacy - Provides pharmaceutical drugs and other medical items to public consumers and corporate clients such as Indira Ghandhi Memorial Hospital, local pharmaceutical companies and the regional hospitals.

STO Peoples Choice Fuel and Lubricants - Operated from Funadhoo island and Dhoonidhoo island (Malé Atoll) deals with the supply and sale of a wide variety of petroleum products. In January 2001, Fuel and Lubricants diversified as a joint venture between Fuel Supplies Maldives Pvt. Ltd. (FSM) Plc. and Vara Maldives. Pvt. Ltd. to further extend their distribution network to the entire Maldives.


STO specializes in both retail and wholesale businesses involving selling goods directly to end customers for personal use and providing quality products to wholesale customers at competitive prices.

The company has its branches in the following islands (locations) nationwide:

* Eydhafushi (STO 132 No. Fihaara)
* Fonadhoo (STO 134 No. Fihaara)
* Fuvammulah (STO 136 No. Fihaara)
* Gan (STO 141 No. Theyo Fihaara)
* Hithadhoo (STO 137 No Fihaara)
* Hoarafushi (STO 122 No. Fihaara)
* Maradhoo-Feydhoo (STO 159 No. Fihaara)
* Thinadhoo (STO 138 No. Fihaara)

STO established its credit scheme service in 1995 with the purpose of enabling all government employees to purchase goods from STO on installment basis.


[ Allied Insurance Company Maldives Pte Ltd] - Allied Insurance Company of the Maldives was established in 1985 as a joint venture Company between State Trading Organization and Commercial Union Assurance Company of the United Kingdom. In its early years, the State Trading Organization bought back the shares and the company continued operations with local ownership and management. Allied has had tremendous growth over the past 20 years, both in terms of the volume of business and profitability.

[ Fuel Supplies Maldives Pvt Ltd (FSM)] - Fuel Supplies Maldives Pvt Ltd was established on January 01, 2001 with the blessings and good grace of Allah. FSM was founded as part of the scheme of STO to choose private companies to form partnerships in specialized lines of services. Innumerable opportunities would be open for these private parties to take advantage of STO’s vast experience, knowledge and influence as one of the oldest–established trading entities in the Maldives.

[ Maldive Gas Pte Ltd] - Maldive Gas, natural gas distribution market, delivering cooking gas to over 40,000 customers throughout the Maldives. We supply Liquefied Petroleum bottled gas in 10 kg, 22kg and 45kg cylinders with a wide range of appliances in domestic and industrial purposes. We also sell products from gas stoves to regulators and other LPG equipments. Maldive gas now provides our customers with better service than before.

Maldives Structural Products Pvt. Ltd (MSP) - Maldives Structural Products Pvt. Ltd (MSP) is a joint venture company of State Trading Organization PLC & Rainbow Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., formed with the main objective of producing steel roofing products and related accessories and supply to the Maldives market at an affordable price. The Company is constantly working to reduce costs wherever possible, without compromising the quality, so that the consumers will get the best value for money. The raw materials used are Australian made BlueScope Steel Colorbond® and BlueScope Steel Zincalume® steel which are considered to be one of the best and hence MSP's roofing products are of world-class quality. For G.I roofing sheets Blue Scope Steel’s Zinc-Hi-Ten® material is used.

[ Maldives National Oil Company Ltd. (MNOC)] - The Maldives National Oil Company Ltd. (MNOC) was incorporated by the Government of the Republic of Maldives to complement the Government's effort to diversify the national economy and thereby generate employment and foreign income through oil and gas exploration and production in the territory of the Maldives and abroad.

[ Lafarge Maldives Cement Pvt Ltd] - With the rapid development of the tourism industry in the Maldives, the government of the republic of Maldives embarked on its long term development of harbours, airports, housing and other infrastructure. The tourism industry continued to grow and many large resort projects with joint venture partnerships got off ground. All these development projects required large amounts of cement, resulting in an increased price of cement in the Maldives. This led to the introduction of Marine Cement Limited ( a Swiss based cement trading / shipping outfit owned by Lafarge of France and Blue Circle of United Kingdom), as a share holder to form a joint venture with the State Trading Organization Plc., registered under the Ministry of Trade and industries in the Maldives, in establishing Maldives Island Marine Cement Pvt. Ltd. From January 2002 with the takeover of Blue Circle by Lafarge of France.


External links

* -- "Corporate information pages"

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