Sri Lanka’s Havelock City forging ahead amid new risks

Apr 21, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s ‘Havelock City’ a mixed development with multi-tower apartment complex with more than 100o untis and commercial space said it is forging ahead despite emerging risks from a state move to restrict foreign ownership of property. “..[T]he regulatory changes contemplated by the Government on foreign ownership of property could have an adverse impact on the real estate sector and is a concern to the Company,” the firm told shareholders in the annual report.

Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Plc, a firm controlled by Singapore’s S P Tao group is building Havelock City’ through Mireka Capital Land, a joint venture with state-run Bank of Ceylon.

Despite the end of a 30-year war in 2009, analysts say new risks are emerging in the island to hurt investors in Sri Lanka amid a rise of nationalism and undermining of rule of law and justice.

Rulers have resumed expropriating property of citizens, which analysts say could turn out to be worse than terrorism risk as expropriation is a calculated targeting of citizens by the state with the full force of the law and police unlike random acts of violence.

Assets of several firms including two listed companies were expropriated by the state through a controversial law in 2011 which lef