In 1964, a fully state-funded business was set up by the Maldivian government with one key mission to begin with: strengthening national food security. The main task of the company, then named Athireemaafannu Trading Account (ATA), was to purchase and import essential food items in bulk to be distributed nationally via local traders and ATA's own retail outlets. ATA sold its imports to the public at low mark-up and also purchased supplies for the government.
ATA was the beginning of STO, and the catalyst for change in the Maldives. With proven success in contributing to national development, ATA matured to become the State Trading Organization (STO) on 9th June 1979. STO undertook all trading and commercial activity on behalf of the Maldivian government. The nation was growing and so were its demands. While remaining true to its original mission, STO expanded its imports, first to an increasing number of commodity items, and then on to modern construction materials, home appliances and consumer goods.
STO's majority, 81.63% is held by the Government of Maldives, while 18.37% is held by the public.
Today STO's assets exceed MVR 8 billion, and made a Net Profit of MVR 127 million in 2020.