Jan 29, 2012 (LBO) – India’s ITC group has paid a 50 percent advance payment for beachfront land in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo where it plans to build a luxury hotel, a media report said. The Sunday Times newspaper quoted economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa as saying that 73.5 million US dollars or 50 percent of the total payment for a 5-acre plot of land in Colombo’s Galle Face area had been made by ITC.
The report said a 300 million dollar upmarket hotel will be built on the leased land.
China’s CATIC which was earlier to buy the land on a free hold basis, but backed out of the deal after Sri Lanka changed policy to only lease land, will be given back its advance payment, the report said.
Adjoining land had been bought by Hong Kong based Shangri-La group.
The firm has completed soil testing and finalized designs for a mixed development Sri Lankan officials said last week, though a date to start construction has not yet been made public.
Sri Lanka has seen a tourism boom after the end of a civil war in 2009 and has been a key bright spot for the economy.