Sri Lanka Overseas Realty apartment sales slow

March 05, 2009 (LBO) – Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Ltd. (ORCL) said it is finding it difficult to sell apartments in a new high-rise condominium complex being built in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo due to the economic crisis. But ORCL chairman S P Tao, head of Singapore’s Shing Kwan group, said he is confident of the long term potential of the project, known as the Havelock City project.

“The global financial crisis has had a direct impact on the progress of sales of condominium units in the Havelock City project,” Tao told shareholders of ORCL in the firm’s annual report.

“Significant demand was expected from the Sri Lankan diaspora overseas.

“However, given the dire and still uncertain economic situation prevailing, compounded by devalued currencies, potential buyers have deferred their investment decisions,” he said.

“However, we strongly believe in the potential of this project. Our priority is to complete the 226 units in the first phase of the residential component.”

The project, being built on the site of a former textile mill now considered prime city property, is a mixed development of residential and commercial space.

The project’s first phase consisting of 226 apartments in two res