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July 12, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s United Motors Lanka Limited has put off plans to diversify into big property developments as the market for high-rise space seems to be slowing, officials said. UML Property Development’s profits were tax free for a period of seven years and now are taxed at a concessionary rate. The company, the agent for several motor vehicles including Mitsubishi, wanted to develop some of its prime properties because of limited growth potential in the motor vehicle market.

The company has land in prime areas. So we are planning to utilize that for better purposes and build high rise buildings, United Motors Chairman Ranjith Fernando told LBO.

We are looking at several projects but nothing is firmed up as yet.

The group is concerned about the timing of these projects considering the present market status.

Sri Lanka has had a sudden surge of high rise condominiums with the high price range limiting them to upper class customers.

Timing is an issue now. The market segment is extremely limited. We don™t think it™s the right time. So we want to wait and see, Fernando said.

The company will however move ahead with a smaller p