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Altair Foreign Investment

“Altair will define Colombo’s skyline”: Shapoorji Pallonji CEO

June 20, 2019

“Cities must have iconic buildings and structures; this is key to a city’s uniqueness and character,” says Mohandas Saini, Managing Director and CEO of Shapoorji Pallonji International. Akin to how Manhattan is defined by the Empire State Building, Kuala Lumpur by the Petronas Towers and Dubai by the Burj Khalifa. Saini made these remarks on one of his periodic visits to Colombo to review Altair’s progress, scheduled to complete in end-2019.

S & P CEO Mohandas Saini

Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd., regarded as one of India’s most valuable private companies with a legacy spanning over 150 years, is no stranger to such iconic construction projects. The company was the main contractor of the tallest residential development in India, the 60-story ‘Imperial Towers’ in Toledo Mumbai, completed in 2010. Other iconic projects by global construction giant include the palace of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman, Park Towers Dubai, Taj International Hotel Mumbai and the Hilton Riyadh.

Altair, adjudged the best condo in Asia for architectural design at the 2018 Asia Property Awards, was designed by Moshe Safdie, a pre-eminent architect of our time. Safdie’s works can be found across the globe and have become revered regional and national landmarks, including Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City; United States Institute of Peace Headquarters, Washington DC; and Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore.

The unique design of Altair incorporates a 63-story inclined tower connected to the 69-story vertical tower via a strong outrigger at the 39th level. At the height of 240m, the vertical tower is now the tallest residential building in Sri Lanka

The inclined tower utilises structural steel diagonal grids on the exterior of the building giving a permeable surface for expansive floor to ceiling windows as well as acting as a load bearing membrane, minimising the use of interior columns. According to Mohandas Saini, these unique design features led to a particularly complex project from a construction standpoint due to the high degree of precision work required to maintain uniformity that cannot be achieved through traditional fast-tracked methodologies that are commonplace now in high-rise construction in Sri Lanka. Despite the challenges, the superstructure construction work was carried out at a commendable speed with ‘one floor added almost every week’, notes the CEO.

Commenting on the outcome of the superstructure works Saini remarks, “The entire weight distribution was so well engineered, and the workmanship is of such good quality that the level of deviation from original specifications were substantially lower than allowable structural engineering tolerances.”

Structural engineers to this project have been Dubai based Predag Eror of Derby Design, and well known Sri Lankan structural engineer, Deepal Wickremesinghe. Structural elements of the building were independently verified by the University of Moratuwa.

The CEO also says that Shapoorji Pallonji has earned their global reputation not only for their expertise in construction, but for their enduring commitment for the projects they undertake. “We believe in long-term value-added relationships with all stakeholders, often investing our own money in projects we undertake, as we have done so in Altair.” The main shareholder of this $ 250 million project is Kolkata based South City Group, a consortium of firms which has collectively delivered over 150 real estate projects consisting of more than 15 million square feet.

Along with Altair, Shapoorji Pallonji is involved in four other projects in Sri Lanka, including an office building and a water supply project. The CEO remarked that his company is considering engaging in a public-private partnership with the Government with regards to another key project and are open for further investment opportunities in the country.

Speaking of his experience of working in Sri Lanka, Saini says that local engineers have excellent skills and expertise. However, the company had to resort to employing a large foreign workforce due to the shortage of skilled labourers and specialised technicians in the domestic market.

Taken from Daily FT

Visit of Japanese Investor Forum 12.10.18

October 18, 2018

 

Sri Lanka makes strong case to woo Hong Kong investor interest

March 24, 2017

 

 

  • Nearly 250 attend full-day Sri Lanka Investment Summit showcasing country’s progress and potential for new growth in key and emerging economic sectors
  • Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake highlights unity Govt.’s success so far in improving macroeconomic fundamentals and ongoing and future measures to achieve high quality inclusive growth
  • Invites Hong Kong-based investors to harness win-win growth opportunities in South Asia’s hub Sri Lanka

 

 

Sri Lanka yesterday made its strongest effort to woo interest from Hong Kong-based companies, fund managers and investors, highlighting recent macroeconomic progress as well as measures to boost higher inclusive growth from which foreign firms could benefit.

The concerted effort by the private and public sector was made at the full-day Sri Lanka Investment Summit in Hong Kong, organised by the influential Finance Asia magazine in partnership with multiple stakeholders including Standard Chartered Bank and Asia Securities.

Nearly 250 representatives from Hong Kong-based companies, fund managers and investors attended the summit held at the iconic Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the world’s tallest. Hong Kong, which itself is a hub and economic success, boasts of an economy worth over $ 300 billion, over four times that of Sri Lanka, with a per capita income of

$ 36,000. Chief Guest Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku as well as a host of private sector business leaders, public sector officials and existing foreign investors spoke at the event.

They made a compelling case as to why Sri Lanka must be considered a new destination for investments from Hong Kong-based companies.

Karunanayake, who headed straight to the summit from the airport after arriving in Hong Kong only last morning, in his speech highlighted some of the salient democratic and macroeconomic achievements of the unity Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He pointed out that despite differences of opinion as expected in a coalition, the two parties were working together for the collective good with consensus-oriented politics and policies.

As proof of success so far, the Minister read out a host of positives from Fitch’s recent action by which it revised Sri Lanka’s rating outlook from negative to stable as well as the IMF’s statement following the recent review mission.

“We are proud of the progress made and we will ensure to be a partnering nation of the success stories unfolding in the Asian region,” Minister Karunanayake added.

The unity Government’s success in improving fiscal and financial discipline leading to a lower budget deficit was emphasised as well as the aggressive efforts to reduce the massive debt burden brought upon by the previous regime. Reforms as well as the restructuring of some of the loss-making national projects such as the Hambantota Port and Airport as well as state-owned enterprises were also touched upon by the Minister.

“We are aggressively promoting Public Private Partnerships and a greater private sector role in generating future growth,” Karunanayake told the Hong Kong summit.

“We are on course to achieving economic prosperity through accelerating growth with social inclusion. Our aim is to achieve a high quality growth which is central for sustainable development,” said the Finance Minister, assuring that the Government would not hesitate to initiate appropriate policies and measures as and when required to usher in the required development.

“We have done what we have said so you can believe the country and the Government and more importantly its policies,” Karunanayake said, adding that the time was opportune for foreign investors to secure diverse opportunities in Sri Lanka.

The Government’s efforts to enter into FTAs with China, Singapore, Japan and Korea, apart from expanding an existing deal with India, were emphasised to drive home the point among Hong Kong investors that geographically, the strategically-located Sri Lanka would be a very attractive hub to tap into opportunities in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The impending return of the GSP Plus benefit to better serve European markets was also highlighted. The planned Colombo International Financial Centre and Dedicated Economic Zones in Hambantota were among other initiatives shared with participants of the Hong Kong summit.

Minister Karunanayake said potential new investors would have a “crucial role to play” in the overall effort to create a prosperous Sri Lanka and assured the Hong Kong summit’s participants that Sri Lanka’s future offered a “win-win” situation for investors and the Government.

“We will continue to support the private sector in whatever possible way so that private sector economic activities will foster,” the Finance Minister added.

He also revealed that the Government was envisaging Foreign Direct Investments of around $ 4 billion this year.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China, Dr. Kodituwakku, called for greater investments, pointing out that FDI and an export-led growth strategy were key for Sri Lanka’s future. He also spoke about how Hong Kong FDIs gave a big initial boost to China to open up its economy.

“Just like many other Asian countries have transformed their economies with the back of FDIs, Sri Lanka too wishes to transform its economy with the support of the FDI into a strong economy in which all Sri Lankans are able to enjoy a high standard of living,” the Ambassador emphasised.

Excellent investment destination

IMF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Eteri Kvintradze, who figured in a panel discussion, said Sri Lanka was a compelling story and was at a critical juncture hence more private sector-led growth was needed.

She also listed several key achievements of the Government aided by the structural reforms under the IMF’s ongoing $ 1.5 billion support program as well as future challenges to further improve Sri Lanka’s growth prospects.

The Board of Investment’s Director General Duminda Ariyasinghe also made a very strong case why Sri Lanka must be seriously considered by Hong Kong investors.

Summit co-chairman Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka CEO Jim McCabe described Sri Lanka as one of the fastest-growing economies and an excellent destination for investments. The other co-chairman Asia Securities Chairman Dumith Fernando also pitched for more Hong Kong investments.

The summit involved a large number of Sri Lankan business leaders and professionals as well as longstanding and new foreign investors in Sri Lanka such as Singer Asia, apparel giant Courtaulds, World Bank private sector investor arm IFC, the Shangri La Group, Indoocean Developers Ltd/Altair, China Merchant (CMPort)/Colombo International Container Terminals, China Harbour/CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd., BPO operator WNS Global Services, Creation Investments  and ADM Capital, as speakers or panellists as well as participants to reinforce the message that the time is right for global investors to consider Sri Lanka.

Some of the companies represented include Hemas Holdings, MAC Holdings, Commercial Bank, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Commercial Credit and Finance and Lynear Wealth.

Standard Chartered Bank was the international lead sponsor of the summit. Asia Securities adds its special brand of insight to the summit as lead sponsors and CHEC Port City Colombo, Altair and MAC are all onboard as distinguished corporate sponsors.  The Daily FT is the official media partner. Supporting organisations include the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce and the Oxford Business Group. Cathay Pacific was the official airline. This is the second summit by Finance Asia, an influential industry magazine, with the previous one held in Singapore last year.

CSE forum tells Sydney time to invest is now

March 22, 2017

National Policies and Economic Affairs State Minister Niroshan Perera (right) answers a question during the Invest Sri Lanka forum held at Sydney’s Shangri-La Hotel yesterday. Others from left: CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike, Fitch Ratings Lanka MD and CEO Maninda Wickramasinghe, Central Bank Director of Economic Research Dr. (Mrs.) Yuthika Indraratne, CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka and SEC Director General Vajira Wijegunerwardane

 

• Participants urged to recognise ‘promise and potential’ of new SL

• Capital market policies to improve transparency

• Over 150 Australian citizens and companies, other firms as well as diaspora attend forum

• Sri Lankans in Aussie told their investment crucial for driving country forward

Australia’s most populous city Sydney was told yesterday that it was time to invest in Sri Lanka given the future upside supported by progressive policies in place or planned under a unity Government.

This message was conveyed at the ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ forum organised by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in partnership with several stakeholders at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney. Over 150 Australian citizens, companies, other firms and representatives based in Sydney as well as Sri Lankans living in Australia attended the forum.

It was the first in a series of investor promotion conferences to be carried out this week in Australia and New Zealand, a key initiative undertaken for the first time in 12 years.

Chief Guest National Policies and Economic Affairs State Minister Niroshan Perera told the Sydney forum that Sri Lanka was set to enter new territory as it was poised for a renewed drive of growth and progress.

He said the country under the unity Government had progressed in recent times as a result of the commitment to economic and social reform. “The present Government envisions a globally competitive, export-led economy driven by revolutionary thinking and bold policies. We expect to drive the nation towards achieving middle income status, while maintaining a strong focus on sustainable economic growth and good governance,” he said.

“The Government has implemented a number of business friendly policies with a view to strengthening our local economic and business environment,” State Minister Perera added.

Noting that ineffective regulation for the longest time had stifled the economic and business climate as well as employment growth, he said the new Government was well in the process of replacing such regulations.

The forum was told that a new set of investment incentives based on Capital Allowances and a low tax regime were introduced through the 2017 Budget aimed at broadening the scope of Lankan businesses and having a significant impact on investment sourced through domestic and international channels. He also said the targeted outcome was to bring Sri Lanka within the top 70 nations of the Ease of Doing Business Index by 2020.

The importance of Sri Lanka as an Indian Ocean hub in the realm of global logistics and commercial activities was also stressed. The State Minister said an increasing number of businesses and investors are once again looking to Sri Lanka as an investment destination. He also referred to projects such as the Western Megapolis Development and the Colombo International Finance Centre to step up foreign investments, harness Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic location and achieve higher economic growth.

Focusing on capital markets, State Minister Perera said the Government was keen on maintaining integrity and quality by setting a policy framework that will lead to the operation of an open, secure and transparent marketplace.

“Through the 2017 Budget, the Government introduced a number of initiatives that, we believe, are likely to develop the capital markets in the coming years,” he said.

The Sydney forum was also told about Government’s announced plans to introduce a number of non-core businesses to the capital markets and these listings are likely to have a positive effect in terms of sparking market interest among investors and boosting market liquidity.

“A key priority of the present Government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is to regain the confidence of the international community. We are pleased to see a number of positive developments in this regard,” Perera pointed out, highlighting the impending return of GSP Plus benefits from the European Union and rising tourist arrivals.

The State Minister also sent a strong message to the Sri Lankan Diaspora in Sydney in particular and Australia in general.

“Many Sri Lankans who left our motherland during the conflict are actively looking to improve their association with Sri Lanka. The present construction boom driven by Sri Lankans living abroad is an example of such interest and involvement,” he said.

“Such progress is exactly why forums of this nature are of importance, because they play an important role in assisting the Government to reach out to our large and diverse Sri Lankan community overseas. Your ideas and your support are important to our country as we drive the future of our country forward,” the State Minister told the Sydney forum.

He urged participants to recognise the enormous promise and potential of an “emerging new Sri Lanka” built on the foundation of the Government’s new agenda of administrative and economic reforms and ease of doing business.

In that context Perera promised the Government’s continued commitment to facilitating investments and stimulating the establishment of transparent and well-governed institutions.

The Sydney forum and Thursday’s event in Melbourne are timed in the backdrop of Sri Lanka and Australia celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties.

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canberra, Australia S. Skandakumar said Australia and Sri Lanka have long shared strong historical ties, common values and interests with trust which has resulted in multiple forms of economic and social cooperation over the years.

Skandakumar said economic and social progress in Sri Lanka seen in recent times has been complemented by a renewed confidence in the country among the international community, especially in Australia.  The High Commissioner invited members of the audience to visit Sri Lanka to experience first-hand, the benefits of playing a part in a resilient growth story.

CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka and SEC Director General Vajira Wijegunerwardane in their presentations were also emphatic that the time was opportune to invest in Sri Lanka.

Central Bank Director of Economic Research Dr. (Mrs.) Yuthika Indraratne offered insight into the economic policy direction of the country while Fitch Ratings Lanka MD and CEO Maninda Wickramasinghe presented a macroeconomic overview.

The Sydney forum also featured several leading real estate developments in Sri Lanka contributing in the capacity of event sponsors, including the Colombo Port City (Platinum Sponsor) One Galle Face by Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts (Platinum Sponsor) and the luxury apartment development by Altair (Corporate Sponsor).

The main presentations will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and a question and answer session with the audience.

The initiative is being held in association with several organisations including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra, Australia, Consul General in Sydney Lal Wickremetunga and Melbourne Prasanna Gamage, the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lankan New Zealand Business Council.

The last CSE-led investor promotion was held in Australia in 2005. Post-war, the CSE has conducted road shows in New York, London, Singapore, Dubai and Mumbai.

On Wednesday two events will be held in Melbourne at the International Chamber House Melbourne and at the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley while another will be staged at the Fickling Convention Centre in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.

For the full article visit FT.lk

 

Altair sponsors doctors’ gala in Los Angeles

December 28, 2016

 

03-5

Indocean Developers Director Pradeep Moraes making a presentation at the event.

California is home to several hundreds of doctors who are of Sri Lankan origin, most of whom are members of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, North America (West).

The Association holds a glittering Ball bi-annually and this year’s event was held at the magnificent Ballroom of the legendary Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The event, which had over 500 attendees, was sponsored by Indocean Developers Ltd., the promoters of Altair, the iconic development which is changing Colombo’s skyline.

An Altair spokesman said that they were pleased to support this function not merely because of outreach and networking potential among the Association’s affluent membership, but also in recognition of the SLMA’s laudable efforts towards the alleviation of those suffering from cancer in Sri Lanka and the rehabilitation of the Mulleriyawa Hospital.

Taken from Daily FT

Development Progress – November

November 10, 2016

The latest images of Altair, soon to grace Colombo’s skyline with luxurious living. Scheduled to open in 2018.

Altair stimulates buyer sentiment in Canada

October 21, 2016

epaper_-_-online-edition-of-daily-news-sri-lanka-1b

Colombo’s skyline-defining high-rise development Altair has generated strong interest in Canada following a series of events and meetings in Toronto recently, promoter Indocean Developers reports.
The company was a sponsor of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce and participated in a day-long forum and a gala dinner organised as part of the celebrations. This was the first occasion that a Sri Lankan company had participated in an event of the chamber. Representatives of Altair also had a lengthy meeting with the Sri Lankan High

Commissioner and Consul General in Canada and attended a meeting that the Tamil business community had with the High Commissioner. “The response of the Sri Lankan community in Canada to the project was extremely positive, and we were delighted to be part of a dialogue that focussed on the potential for investment in Sri Lanka,” Altair Director Pradeep Moraes said.
“It was evident that there is renewed interest in developments in the country, which a project such as Altair is particularly well-positioned to tap in to.”
Altair was also featured in interviews on two television stations, TET and ATN and Moraes was invited to be a member of a high-powered panel that discussed investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

Read the full Article on the Daily Mirror 

Flow of investments from Oman to Sri Lanka on the upswing

June 15, 2016

Extracted from Times of Oman

A large number of Omanis are turning to Sri Lanka to invest in property, infrastructure development and the farming sector, officials said.

Speaking to Times of Oman, Anselm Perera, CEO of Business Process Outsourcing Services LLC (BPOS) Oman, who coordinated one such delegation, claimed Sri Lanka became a good place for investors after the civil war ended on May 18, 2009.

“Since then, we have seen a surge in investors from around the globe,” he noted.

The team coordinated by Perera was led by Saeed Saleh Saeed Al Kiyumi, chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Besides investing in farming, Omanis are also buying residential properties in Sri Lanka. “The Omani delegation which visited Sri Lanka also held discussions with reputed high-rise residential development agency Altair about buying some apartments,” he added.

“People are investing as they can expect rental yields of 8 to 10 per cent and capital gains of more than 10-12 per cent in the luxury apartment sector in Sri Lanka,” Perera said. Further, investors receive capital gains on the resale of apartments, which in some cases are tax free for foreign nationals.

Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, Altair is offering 400 apartments with 1.5 million square feet of living space supported by 40,000 square feet of retail space. The building is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Interestingly, tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka from Oman have also been increasing in recent years. “Besides business travel, we are expecting around 20,000 tourist arrivals from Oman in 2016,” said Deepal Pallegangoda, Country Manager Oman, Mihin Lanka, said.

In 2015, 14,216 tourists from Oman visited Sri Lanka. “Because of the economic crisis, many people are shunning holidays in Europe and looking for cheaper options, like Sri Lanka, where they can get greater value for their money,” travel agents stated.

Business delegation from Oman visits showpiece Altair site in Colombo

May 23, 2016

Extracted from The Island

Sri Lanka’s showpiece high-rise residential development Altair has ignited serious investor interest in Oman, following a recent sales visit targeted at high net worth individuals in the Sultanate.

The visit generated multiple sales to Omani nationals and was followed by a visit by a delegation of the Oman Chamber of Business and Commerce to the Altair office in Colombo and the construction site.

The Omani delegation held discussions with representatives of the management of Indocean Developers, the promoter of Altair, on the investment potential of the apartments offered and the progress of the project and also visited the show apartments at the site.

Altair is represented in the Sultanate by Anselm Perera, CEO of Business Process Outsourcing Services LLC (BPOS) Oman, who counts 42 years of experience in that country, two decades of which were as Chief Operating Officer of HSBC.

“We are greatly encouraged by the degree of interest Altair has generated in numerous overseas markets including the UK, USA, Australia and Japan,” Altair Director Pradeep Moraes said. “This is an affirmation of the global stature of the development, and its unique architectural and structural aspects. Well before its completion, the building has captured wide international attention.”

Designed by the celebrated global architect Moshe Safdie and projected to be a game changer in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, Altair will bring a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline. It is intended to be a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience.

Comprising of two tower blocks, one of 63 storeys which leans in to a taller, 68-storey tower, Altair will offer its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space will be supported by 40,000 square feet of supportive up-market retail space. The building is scheduled for completion in 2017.

With rental yields of 8 – 10 per cent and capital gains of over 15 per cent recorded in the luxury apartment sector in Sri Lanka, developments such as Altair attract attention in countries where there is significant investor interest in the country.

Colombo’s Altair twin-tower ignites investor interest in Japan

October 30, 2015

Extracted from The Daily Mirror

Indocean Developers, the promoter of Sri Lanka’s architecturally-unique twin-tower high rise development Altair, has reported significant buyer interest in Japan, following the company’s participation as the sole real estate sector entity at the recent Sri Lanka Business Forum in Tokyo.

One of just a handful of Sri Lanka based companies to make presentations to a representative audience of more than 300 Japanese investors at this forum also attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Indocean Developers highlighted the investment potential and tax benefits of the luxury apartments the project offers. “The response from Japanese investors who already have investments in Sri Lanka, as well as investors who are assessing the country’s potential has been extremely encouraging,” said Pradeep Moraes, Director of Indocean Developers.

“The enquiries we are receiving reaffirm our belief that the property development sector could be influential in the country’s efforts to attract FDI.”

He said the current high rental yields of 8 – 10 percent, capital gains of over 15 per cent recorded in the luxury apartment sector, the fact that capital gains on resale of apartments are tax free for foreign nationals, and the opportunity to be part of an iconic structure that will forever alter the Colombo skyline, were among the key elements attracting Japanese interest in Altair.

Foreign nationals are permitted to purchase apartments above the fourth floor and have no capital gains tax on the sale of property. Capital and capital gains can be freely repatriated. Income tax is only payable on rent at the maximum effective rate of 18 percent depending on the total income in Sri Lanka.

Projected to be a benchmark for contemporary living in Sri Lanka, Altair, designed by the architectural genius Moshe Safdie, will bring a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline. It is intended to be a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. Comprising of two tower blocks, one of 63 storeys which leans in to a taller, 68-storey tower, Altair will offer its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space will be supported by 40,000 square feet of supportive up-market retail space. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Indocean Developers is a joint venture of the six conglomerates that makes up the South City Group, which brings together over 150 years of cumulative development experience. One partner alone has a market capitalisation is excess of US$ 5 billion, and  the constituent partners of the Group have completed 50 million square feet of real estate development and currently have another 20 million square feet of space under construction.