Established in 1980, Overseas Realty (ORCL) is Sri Lanka’s largest listed specialized property company, basing its success on the philosophy of developing prime quality properties that maximize the long term investment value. The company specializes in investment, development, trading and management of properties, owning and managing the largest listed properties in Sri Lanka. Pravir D. Samarasinghe, CEO, highlights the importance of the company and the Condominium Developers Association in the development processes of the real estate sector in Sri Lanka.
European Times: How would you describe ORCL’s position in Sri Lanka’s real estate sector?
Pravir D. Samarasinghe: ORCL is the daughter company of Shing Kwan Group, a leading Singapore based real estate specialists. Shing Kwan Group’s portfolio of expertise includes investment, development and management of real estate in China (Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai), Indonesia (Jakarta) and Singapore.
With more than 35 years of experience, ORCL is a public listed company on the Colombo Stock Exchange, owning and managing the World Trade Center Colombo, the sole A-grade commercial space in Sri Lanka and the recently developed Havelok City. ORCL is the largest facility manager, providing services for 750.000 sq m of space in commercial and residential buildings.
European Times: What are some of the company’s most prominent projects?
Pravir D. Samarasinghe: Developed 25 years ago, as the prime attraction of Sri Lanka’s business and financial district, the World Trade Center Colombo is an international business complex and impressive landmark, that comprises two 39 storey towers connected by a four storey retail blocks. This complex is situated in the Central Business District (CBD), providing easy access to all main banks, major five star hotels, government offices, shops and the headquarters of some of the largest businesses in the country.
The other project that we are currently working on is the Havelock city, mix-use real estate development project, spread on 18 acres of land, including eight residential towers, a 50 storey office tower and large shopping mall.
European Times: What are some of the activities undertaken during your mandate as Chairman of the Condominium Developers Association?
Pravir D. Samarasinghe: Many reforms in the real estate sector were introduced by the Government while leading the Condominium Developers Association, including the removal of VAT from residential sales, the removal of restrictions on foreigners buying apartments and the provision for foreigners to borrow up to 40% from local banks to buy condominiums. We also promoted the concept for foreign investors to be eligible to receive a special residential status on investing in residential apartments which was positively endorsed by the Government in the Budget 2017.