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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 826

Sri Lanka: John Keells mulls acquisition of 6 acre land close to International Airport

By J.A. Fernando in Colombo
Colombo, 06 June, (Asiantribune.com):

Sri Lanka's prestigious and most diversified premier conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH) is expanding its real estate business and recently in the process had finalize the acquisition of a 6 acre land plot in Kapuwatte, Ja-Ela, which has excellent development potential.

“Currently, we are in the process of finalising the purchase of a 6 acre site in Kapuwatte, Ja-Ela, which has excellent development potential, as it is located adjacent to the Colombo-Katunayake airport road with a wide road frontage.” JKH said in its recently published annual results for the Financial Year 2010 to 2011.

Accordingly the company said that the development plans for this site are currently being drawn up.

“In the ensuing year, the Property group will continue to monitor the market and evaluate opportunities to expand its land bank, in Colombo with a view to acquiring sites with a high development value, ” John Keells said in its lately published annual results adding that company will also pursue opportunities for joint ventures by leveraging on the expertise in managing developments and the marketing depth it had acquired.

“The announcement of mega mixed property developments is a positive sign,” JKH further noted in its review adding that, it will create momentum and also uplift the profile of the country through some well-established international brand names having a presence in the country.

In this regard JKH in its financials, the company highlights that the establishment of an efficient design based construction model which will allow for flexibility in developing products targeted at the appropriate segment of the market.

JKH further anticipated that it will continue with strategy of capitalising on its land bank which includes sites which have excellent development potential.

The property markets in Sri Lanka have hardened with prices for large blocks of land in Colombo city and suburbs increasing. A continuation of current interest rates could have a further positive impact on property prices.

“The possibility that interest rates will remain at present levels could spur the property market in the medium term as property becomes an alternative investment choice.” JKH stressed adding that the increase in disposable incomes and the increased availability of credit could also spur home ownership.

The company further noted that Sri Lanka’s increase in tourism, per capita income and changes in lifestyles will increase the potential for retail and commercial developments and residential apartments.

“Sri Lanka is relatively under-priced compared to the region,” it further noted in its review.

Owning a significant land bank in prime areas of Colombo, the Property industry group of John Keells (JKH) is one of the largest private sector proprietors of real estate in Colombo.

As the controlling shareholder of Asian Hotels and Properties PLC (AHPL) - the owners and promoters of ‘Crescat City’ which houses the five star hotel ‘Cinnamon Grand’, the up-market shopping mall ‘The Crescat Boulevard’, the 30-storey luxury apartment complex ‘The Monarch’, the 35-storey luxury apartment complex ‘The Emperor’, and the ‘Angsana City Club & Spa’, the Property Development arm concentrates primarily on development and sale of residential apartments such as the recently launched ‘OnThree20’ project and the operations of the Crescat Boulevard.

During the year, the Property Development sector of JKH had launched ‘OnThree20’ – a 475 unit residential apartment complex centrally located in Union Place. The product targets the luxury market at the mid to upper middle class category. Over 60% of units have been already sold according to company. Construction commenced in April 2011 with completion expected in December 2014.

Development of on Three20 will be done by John Keells Residential Properties (Private) Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of JKH.

The company further said that the Emperor project is nearing completion and the hand over of units is expected to commence from August 2011. It said the operations of the Crescat Boulevard were scaled up during the year, with an addition of about 5,000 square feet.

- Asian Tribune -

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