Sri Lanka JKH says project has not changed amid approval delay

Oct 22, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings says the size and scope of a 650 million US dollar plus project which also involves a casino has not changed as investment approvals appeared to be taking longer. Tax breaks for two casino resorts, the second to be built by Australia’s Crown group were due to be presented to parliament today but reports said they are likely to be pulled back for changes.

“Following news reports this morning of on the postponement of the gazette under the Strategic Development Act on the Waterfront Project, the company would like to clarify that the status and scope of the project as previously communicated to shareholders has not changed,” the firm said in a stock exchange filing.

John Keells has made a cash call on shareholders to raise more money for the project, which is due to close shortly.

JKH stock was at 214.0 rupees in mid-morning trade, and rights were trading around 47 rupees. The rights fell 24 percent Monday.

Reports said there may be changes to the gazettes giving investment approvals to the two casinos projects to prevent locals from entering them.