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Top real estate developers identified in new RIU brand heath survey



Research Intelligence Unit (RIU)

This year’s RIU survey delved deeper than brand surveys of the past by looking into multifarious factors that included brand awareness, brand perception, brand visibility, brand attributes and top of the mind recall. Home Lands, Prime Lands, Kelsey Homes, JAT, Blue Ocean, Span and Fairway were found to be the top seven most popular developers in 2021. The findings give some victories to all seven of the top players with the top two battling for gold..

During the course of 2021, the Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) conducted a large-scale survey covering many hundreds of property buyers and investors in order to identify the top developer brands in Sri Lanka and to highlight the brand dynamics thereof. The survey covered residents of Colombo, non-Colombo residents as well as the diaspora community. The findings provide a unique insight into how buyers think and how this impacts their investment decision making. From a developer perspective, the survey has identified the top seven players in the market with each of these claiming one or more victories. However, it is Home Lands and Prime Lands that are battling for the top spot.

The Home Lands Group had the highest percentage of respondents that indicated the brand as their ‘first preference’ whilst Prime Lands Group took the top spot of the overall rankings, followed by Home Lands, based on the survey results which included local and Sri Lanka diaspora investors / property buyers.


Locals and Sri Lankan diaspora

When isolating locals from the Sri Lankan diaspora, Prime Lands remains on top, followed by Home Lands. However, amongst the diaspora, Blue Ocean was ranked highest, followed by Span.

Respondents were also asked to rate (positive or negative) based on word of mouth with the developers. Here, Home Lands, with a 57% ‘positive’ result, was the only developer that had a client base with predominantly positive word of mouth.

In accordance with the survey findings, a large number of respondents stated that they had a very favorable past experience with JAT Holdings accompanied by Span Engineering and Fairway Holdings.

Top developers were also assessed in the survey in regards to brand perception: affordability, convenience, luxury, style/elegance, trust and value for money. The results highlighted the locals reckoned properties of Home Lands to be supreme in terms of luxuriousness and the diaspora acclaimed those properties to provide a better value for money.


Brand perception

The survey also revealed how respondents associated brands with the following attributes; brand, convenience, discounts, price, quality and time delivery. In regards to the ‘brand’ factor, Home Lands had the best result, while Prime Lands topped the list in terms of ‘convenience’ and ‘quality’. Blue Ocean, albeit marginally, is placed atop in regards to ‘price’, while Span is seen to provide the most ‘discounts’. Fairway tied with Span for top spot in terms of ‘timely delivery’.

The analysis shows significant differences between brand awareness and perception levels of diaspora and locals as well as residents from Colombo as against those who live outside the Colombo district. Similarly, there are differences between those who work in the private sector as compared to those in the public sector and those that use private as compared to public transport as well as differences by age groups.

The RIU survey also finds that the buyer information source landscape has changed completely in recent years. Now, social media’s influence in the real estate market dominates all other mediums and is highlighted in the survey. It was shown to provide the highest reach compared to other modes such as TV, radio, print media etc. This underlines the important function that social media plays in the current context for diverse forms of business communication.

The Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) has just completed 18 years of service in Sri Lanka with a track record of providing advisory services to most the top developers in the island and the Asia region. Headquartered in London, the RIU also have offices in the Maldives and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

For more information about the RIU and the Real Estate Market Annual Report 2021, contact

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SLT-MOBITEL donates fourth PCR machine to Matara District Hospital



Group Chairman of SLT-MOBITEL Rohan Fernando handing over the donation to Deputy Director of Matara District Hospital Upali Ratnayake accompanied by Dr.Thushara Vidanapathirana, Dr.Deepika Priyanthi and Group CEO of SLT-MOBITEL Lalith Seneviratne.

Recognising the importance to enhance Sri Lanka’s PCR testing capacity to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to protect citizens, SLT-MOBITEL continues its support by donating yet another vital PCR machine to the District General Hospital in Matara recently.

The donation of the PCR machine valued at over Rs. 5.7 million is part of SLT-MOBITEL’s ‘Sabandiyawe Sathakaraya’ CSR initiative in further strengthening the nation’s healthcare systems and assisting communities in need.

The equipment was handed over to the Deputy Director of the Matara Hospital Doctor Upali Rathnayaka in the presence of Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT-MOBITEL; Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL; Kiththi Perera, CEO, SLT; Shashika Senarath, CMO, Mobitel along with Regional GM, SLT; Regional Head – Mobitel and Hospital Staff.

Previously, PCR machines were donated to the Base Hospital, Karawanella, District General Hospital, Matale and the University Hospital of the Kotelawala Defense University. SLT-MOBITEL appreciates the support received from all Sri Lankans towards ‘Daana Paaramitha’ which was conceptualized as a platform to further increase community involvement in carrying out relief efforts to support families affected by the pandemic.

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Extension of lockdown negatively impacts CSE



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading activities commenced yesterday in a lacklustre manner with little share-buying interest and later on became negative following the government’s announcement on the lockdown extension until October 1, stock market analysts said.

The Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC) at the Port City was set to commence this month and has been delayed until December owing to the current Covid 19 situation. This also affected CSE trading activities yesterday, analysts said.

Consequently, the stock market lost steam yesterday, closing on a negative note as investor sentiment remained erratic due to internal and external environmental factors. Both indices moved downwards or to negative territory despite healthy turnover in the market. The All Share Price Index went down by 46.09 points and S and P SL20 declined by 17.93 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.8 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka, where 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 101.1 million, its shares trading at Rs. 158.50 and Sampath Bank one million shares crossed for Rs. 49.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 49.50.

In the retail market, some companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs. 1.2 billion (7.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 604 million (4.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 540 million (58.3 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 204 million (2 million shares traded).

It is said that following two sessions of gains, the indices closed in the red due to price declines in large-cap stocks as investors opted to book modest returns after the recent sharp rally. Stocks such as Expo, LOLC, and JKH, which saw sharp gains in the past two sessions witnessed profit-taking at higher levels and weighed on the momentum throughout the session.

Further, high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Tokyo Cement Company and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Industrial Asphalts. During the day 153 million share volumes changed hands in 24000 transactions.

As of yesterday, the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar was equal to 199.607 Sri Lankan rupees. This is an increase of 7.856656 percent (or +14.5401 LKR) compared with the same time last year (17 September 2020), when 1 US dollar equaled 185.067 Sri Lankan rupees.

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Lockdown takes toll on Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector activities



The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2021 has slowed down the manufacturing activities in the country. Accordingly, the manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 45.1 in August 2021 with a fall of 12.7 index points from the previous month, mainly driven by the decrease in New Orders, Production, Employment, and Stock of Purchases sub-indices. The decline in New Orders and Production, especially in the manufacture of food & beverages, furniture, and textiles & wearing apparel sectors, have mainly contributed to the overall decrease of the manufacturing PMI. Many respondents in those sectors highlighted that their local orders and distribution channels were affected due to the lockdown imposed as a measure of containing the pandemic. Further, many of them also emphasised that factory operations were disrupted due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees. Employment sub-index also declined in line with these developments.

The decrease of Stock of Purchases was in line with the decline in New Orders and Production. Further, the difficulties encountered in placing purchase orders and in settling foreign payments also adversely affected the supply chain of raw materials and production schedules. Many respondents stressed that the continuous increase in the cost of imported raw materials adversely affected their profit margins. Meanwhile, Suppliers’ Delivery Time lengthened at a slower rate in August 2021. The manufacturers cautioned that the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic would continuously hinder the prospects of the manufacturing sector, yet, overall expectations for manufacturing activities for the next three months remained above the neutral threshold.

Services PMI dropped to an index value of 46.2 in August 2021 with the restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the COVID-19. New Businesses, Business Activity, Employment and Expectations for Activity sub-indices recorded declines. New Businesses decreased in August compared to the previous month mainly with the declines observed in wholesale and retail trade, insurance, real estate, and education sub-sectors. Business Activities across most of the sub-sectors such as, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, insurance and other personal activities reported considerable declines indicating the adverse effects of travel restrictions on their business operations. Nevertheless, transportation sub-sector recorded some improvements solely due to the growth in freight volumes. Moreover, financial services sub-sector also indicated improvements despite the disturbances from travel restrictions. Employment continued to fall at a higher pace as retirements and voluntary resignations exceeded the number of recruitments carried out during the month. Backlogs of Work increased at a higher pace in August along with the reduction in staff availability amid travel restrictions and growing COVID-19 infections of staff. (CBSL)

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