SEC officials amend Sri Lanka REITs’ tax incentives to attract real estate companies

Listed companies are encouraged to submit proposals and recommendations to be included in the National Budget 

Construction projects admissible for SL-REITs are those that are already completed, have at least 20 percent occupancy, and are earning profit. ChamindSilva/Shutterstock

According to Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials, the revised tax incentives on the Inland Revenue Act to assist the newly introduced SL-REITs (Sri Lanka Real Estate Investment Trusts) have motivated real estate companies to hop on board, reported The Sunday Times. 

SEC Chairman Viraj Dayaratna, said: “The SEC submitted budget proposals and other representations to the Ministry of Finance on SL- REITS and some property companies are quite interested and are awaiting the gazette on the tax.” 

Along with SEC proposals, the proposals and recommendations from the listed companies and market participants have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance, which will then verify whether they can be included in the National Budget.  

Dayaratna added that the SEC can now authorise a managing company to establish SL-REITs, together with a bank appointed by the company to serve as a trustee for the trust, to be created by a trust deed. Thereafter, the managing company will have to apply for an IPO to be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). 

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Construction projects admissible for SL-REITs are those that are already completed, have at least 20 percent occupancy, and are earning profit. 

Meanwhile, the final policy to allow Repurchase Agreement (REPO) transactions regarding Corporate Debt Securities on CSE’s Over-The-Counter (OTC) Platform was finalised with the CSE. The approval in-principle was accorded to the CSE to enforce this system. 

This is to activate the corporate debt market via the CSE after the Unit Trust Association, along with certain commercial banks and Primary Dealers requested the CSE to implement a REPO transaction mechanism for corporate debt securities through the OTC trading platform on the CSE,” concluded Dayaratna.