Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Five SDPs including Krrish still at ‘identification’ stage

Though Sri Lankans can challenge strategic development projects (SDPs) which include Shangri La, Crown (Casino project) and Krrish when the first gazette is issued, there hasn’t been any such opposition.
People are not exercising their right of making written objections or representations regarding such projects due to lack of awareness or apathy, a top government administrator said, adding that there is transparency in such project approvals. A streamlined procedure including the entertaining of public representations is followed by the line ministry before parliamentary approval is sought to implement SDPs.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Economic benefits of professional real estate associations

By Kirthi Hewamanne
It is an established fact that the Real Estate industry makes an important contribution to the economy of a country and to the welfare of its people.

Housing is a key factor in measuring the standard of living of a society, and is an indicator of the economic growth of a country. It is said that the total value of buildings and housing stock of a developed economy is the greatest single source of invested capital and the revenues generated from this sector represent a large slice of the country’s national income. A significant number of the working population of such countries is either directly or indirectly dependent on this business or its related activity.


(Source: Daily Mirror)

World’s tallest vertical garden in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is certainly not short of many firsts in the world, with many dubious distinctions during the conflict and now some, more respectable ones.
The latest is a brand new apartment complex, Clear Point Residencies, being touted as the tallest vertical garden in the world. It is being built at Rajagiriya at a cost of US$ 55 million (Rs. 6 billion), according to Milroy Perera, Chairman and CEO of Mlroy Perera Associates (Pvt) Ltd.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Higher taxes for your property

Assessment rates for properties in different local authority areas are to go up manifold from next year. This is because the Government wants to place a Capital Value on the property instead of the present valuation system. This will apply to properties located in Municipal, Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sabha areas.

At present assessment rates are collected by local authorities based on the “annual value” of properties. This also takes into consideration the general amenities provided by the respective local authorities.


(Source: Sunday Times)

Suncity adds yet another building to the Colombo skyline

Suncity Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd, one of the pioneers in construction and real-estate in Sri Lanka, has begun construction on its latest project – an office complex within the Colombo city limits.
This is Suncity’s most recent initiative complementing an existing portfolio of apartment complexes, the company said.
Located in Bambalapitiya facing R. A. de Mel Mawatha, the building was designed by Bandusena Associates. Approximately 8000 sq. ft in size, the building will be equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and technology, enabling companies to simply plug in and commence operations. The building is scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2014 and is currently available for buyers and investors.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Packer's hotel project gets approval

The Gazette notification has been issued approving three hotel projects including James Packer's Crown Ltd, but without gaming or casino facilities, official sources said. There would be an Integrated Super Luxury Tourist Resort Facility at Glennie Street/Justice Akbar Mawatha, Colombo 2.  It is an investment of US $ 750 million. In the next project proposed at the site in D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10, an Integrated Super Luxury Tourist Resort with 500 rooms is to be set up under an investment of US $ 300 million. It will consist of high-end shopping malls, luxury residences and office spaces and service spaces with associated facilities.   The investor is Queensbury Leisure Ltd. The hotel project of US $ 350 million in the same area will be undertaken by Lake Leisure Holdings .It will have 400 rooms.


(Source: Daily Mirror)

Monday, 4 November 2013

Krrish site to be offered to CHOGM business delegates

The Government is to offer the Transwork site in Colombo now leased out to India’s Krrish group to potential investors attending the Commonwealth Business Forum, official sources said.
This is because the company has failed to make the final lease payment and amidst accusations of corruption linking a top state official to the deal.
Some of this money has been returned to apartment owners who requested the money back after the project ran into difficulties. But there are others whose money is still with Krrish.
Apart from that, the official said, that without a formal approval of the building plan it was somewhat illegal to sell the apartments.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Krrish square saga plods on

The government is considering an option of handing over the land allocated to the delayed Krrish project in Fort to another investor, authoritative sources revealed.
The process, being studied, would involve the new investor paying the rental upfront and that money being used to return the money Krrish has already paid as part of the lease rental.
At least two big Chinese and Saudi Arabian foreign investors have approached the government to take over the property by settling the lease payment, their local agents told the Business Times.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Monday, 7 October 2013

Krrish project now confronted with environmental issues

The Krrish square mixed development project tainted by scandalous financial deals is yet to get the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval to kick-start the project, informed sources said.
The Transworks building site at Colombo Fort leased by Delhi-based group Krrish is environmentally not suitable for a mega mixed development project, environmental experts have said. The Business Times learns that a leading environmental consultancy service which carried out a preliminary EIA has concluded that the site located in the heart of Colombo Fort was not feasible for such a mega project as it will create heavy vehicular traffic in peak hours and environmental pollution due to emissions and waste disposal. Recommendations made in the EIA report have not been followed by the investors, Environment Ministry sources said adding that EIA approval on drawings and building plans is essential before the test filling.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Krrish scandal sets stage for a major shake-up at SEC

The Colombo Krrish Square scandal over alleged kickbacks received by a prominent official to secure the legal rights to develop the Transworks property at Colombo Fort is to claim its first victim setting the stage for a major shake-up in the country’s capital market regulator, informed official sources said.

Construction work of the project has come to a standstill and the massive hoardings advertising the Krrish towers have disappeared and no statements are forthcoming from anyone on the current status.


(Source: Sunday Times)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sri Lanka leases out land for Packer-linked casino

Sri Lanka has leased some prime real estate in the capital to a local casino operator who is expected to develop a $350 million entertainment complex with Australian gambling mogul James Packer, an official said Monday.
The cabinet gave final approval last month to lease the lakefront land to a company set up by Sri Lanka's top casino operator, Rank Holdings, for 2.78 billion rupees ($22.28 million dollars), the official said.
"The land is given to the Sri Lankan company which is in partnership with the Crown group (of Packer)," the official from the investment promotion ministry told AFP on condition of anonymity.
(Source: Global Post)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Chinese firm Avic gets special status for a mixed development Colombo project

The Sri Lanka Government has given strategic investment project status to the US$300 million mixed development project of Avic International Corporation in a prime property in Colombo.
The ‘Colpetty Mills’ land extending to 542 perches is owned by Shaw Wallace and Hedges PLC and a large slice was sold to Avic, a top official of the company, an influential group with lot of Sri Lankan Government contracts, said. The land has access from both Galle Road and Duplication Road.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Monday, 24 June 2013

Lankan homes open out to tourists

Sri Lanka is encouraging more and more local families to open their homes to tourists and earn money in the process while increasing the room stock from this category to 10,000 by 2016.

The country is targetting 2.5 million visitors by 2016 and currently has 23,000 rooms compared to the 45,000 rooms needed to meet the five-fold increase from less than 500,000 in 2009. Currently there are about 300 homes of below five rooms each listed in the Sri Lanka Tourism website as ‘homestays’ providing a total of less than 1,000 rooms.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Re-construction of partly built Celestial Towers expedited to accommodate CHOGM delegates

In a desperate effort to provide accommodation for foreign delegates of the November Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, re-construction of the state-acquired Celestial Residencies, better known as Celestial Towers at Kollupitiya has been expedited on a Government directive, officials said.

The building at the former Ceylinco Group-owned property is being fast-tracked to be completed by October 2013 against the earlier schedule completion date of July 2014
(Source: Sunday Times)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Small hotels for sale

Many small hotels in the southern coastal belt are approaching their bigger counterparts for management buyouts or part stake sales, as they struggle to fight escalating costs, overpricing and competition, industry analysts say.

“Most hotels are based on future earnings and valuations. Right now they are overpriced. Small hotel operators are finding it increasingly hard to operate with the high costs, and expensive rates. Most are for sale and some have approached larger hotel groups to either sell or part-sell their properties,” an industry analyst said.
He said that this includes boutique hotels and 3-to-4 four star properties in Wadduwa, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Thalpe, Ranna among other towns. According to industry sources, boutique hotels are being offered at as much as US$ 3 million for a 70 per cent stake. “Both locals and foreigners are seeing these properties and some sales are nearing completion,” an industry source said.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

11,000 room nights wanted for Indian film crew

A 250-strong Indian film crew led by talented actor Ranbir Kapoor will spend millions of rupees and use some 11,000 room nights between July-September to shoot an ambitious movie in Sri Lanka.
Indian film director Anurag Kashyap is using Sri Lanka as a location for the movie “Bombay Velvet” to be shot at Serendib Studio at the Ranminithenna Tele Village in Hambantota.
The selected organization should arrange 11,000 room nights in Colombo, Galle and Tissamaharama for the visiting crew negotiating charges with local hotels and provide 230 economy class and 30 business class air tickets.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

SL allows foreigners to take out capital

Sri Lanka on Wednesday announced the easing of foreign exchange controls to allow foreigners to repatriate capital as well as profits from real estate transactions, AFP reported.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it was making it easier for both foreigners and locals to take money in and out of the country as part of measures to spur greater economic activity. - See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/30828-sl-allows-foreigners-to-take-out-capital.html#sthash.s8aMi5JS.dpuf


(Source: Daily Mirror)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sri Lanka allows foreigners to buy land

The government is bringing in sweeping changes to recent restrictions imposed on foreign ownership of businesses and property to promote foreign investments, government officials said.
The Finance Ministry will issue a circular indicating these changes following the Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera’s endorsement of these decisions, reversing a budget decision.
In a 180-degree turn from the recent decision and subsequent action to prohibit foreign ownership of business and property in Sri Lanka under the 2013 budget proposal, the government will revert to the earlier practice of allowing foreigners to take up full ownership of businesses and property, if their investments in the project is over US $10 million, they revealed.
Earlier – before the budget proposal – a foreigner or a foreign company was entitled to buy land without paying 100 per cent land tax if their investment for the whole project was over US$10 million
Sri Lanka’s new regulation on foreign ownership of property is similar to the previous practice which was in existence before the year 2004.
However it will have additional, new provisions where foreigners can lease land but would be subject to a land tax of 5 to 10 per cent, Minister for Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana told the Business TimesThis is a new provision since there was no tax on lands leased by foreigners, earlier.

(Source: Sunday Times)

Sri Lanka to set tax of around 10-pct for foreigners leasing land
 Sri Lanka's new restrictions on foreign ownership of property will have provisions that will allow non-nationals investing in the country to lease land with a tax of 5 to 15 percent, senior government officials said.
Investment promotion minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said it was the policy of the administration to stop the sale of land outright to foreigners but foreign investors will be allowed to lease land for up to 99 years, after paying a tax.
"We will allow foreigners to lease land and we have requested that the tax be kept below 10 percent," minister Abeywardena said.

(Source: LBO)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

CID exposes huge land rackets

Racketeers including notaries public and land sale dealers have been taken into custory for large-scale illegal land grabbing in Colombo and the suburbs, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) detectives said. At least 30 such groups have been arrested so far after the CID probed some 4,300 complaints made following a Defence Ministry announcements calling on victims to inform the CID, the detectives said.

More >>
(Source: Sunday Times)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sri Lanka's House price index for 2013 Q1 shows prices are up from a year ago

LankaPropertyWeb.com's 2013 Q1 house price index is now out now and compared to 2012 Q1 we've seen an increase in advertised prices for house sales, land sales and apartment sales whereas commercial property prices have gone down.
Another interesting facts is that 65% of the advertisers reduced their asking prices for house sales by an average of 12.6% during the last quarter. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Jolt for Sri Lanka’s condo market

New rule bars foreigners from owning private land
Sri Lanka’s expanding condominium (condo) market has been thrown into disarray and confusion following new rules barring the sale of private land to foreigners, industry officials say.
The rule, based on an announcement in the Budget 2013 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, comes in the backdrop of concern that prime properties bought by foreigners are rapidly depleted the land resources. Chairman of the state-owned Condominium Authority Kapila Gamage conceded that there is confusion at the moment with regard to the sale of condos as a result of a letter sent by the Treasury to the Commissioner General of Lands directing him not to registrar land deed transfers including condominiums of foreigners with effect from January 1st in accordance with the budget proposal.
(Source: Sunday Times)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

800 acres for huge projects in Hambantota

The Government has allocated more than 800 acres of land for several foreign and local projects in the Hambantota District. Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the projects were aimed at attracting foreign investments in industries ranging from car assembling plants to glass and sugar factories.

Mr. Yapa said that 300 acres of land would be allocated for the setting up of three foreign universities and a local university. An Information Technology park would also be included.


(Source: Sunday Times)

Lankans of foreign citizenship can now buy land

Persons of Sri Lankan origin currently holding foreign passports are to be granted concessions to invest in the real estate sector in the country.The concessions come in terms of the scheme of payment which was hitherto extended only to Sri Lankans living overseas, but continuing to hold Sri Lankan citizenship.
The Exchange Controller has offered concessions to Sri Lankans of foreign citizenship to allow them to purchase real estate in the country in Sri Lankan rupees, to be paid out from their Non-Resident Foreign Currency (NRFC) accounts.
(Source: Sunday Times)