Consortium of local banks funds optimisation of cash flow at final phase of completion
A consortium of leading local banks, comprising of the Bank of Ceylon, NDB Bank and National Savings Bank, has raised a syndicated loan of US$ 25 million (Rs. 4.5 billion at current rates) for Sri Lanka’s showpiece high rise property development Altair, in a noteworthy vote of confidence in the prospects for the project as well as for the sector in general.
One of the largest syndicated loans in Sri Lanka’s property development sector in recent times, the loan is intended to ensure cash flows at the final stages of completion of the Altair project are maintained at optimum levels of liquidity, says the project’s promoter Jaideep Halwasiya of Indocean Developers.
This infusion of funds is in addition to the US$ 251 million (Rs. 45.6 billion) that has already been invested in Altair by stakeholders, whose offshore investments are subject to the statutory limits specified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The syndicated loan made up of US Dollar component and Sri Lanka Rupee component is repayable in 18 months with a grace period of six months.
Commenting on the facility structured for Altair, Indocean Developers Director, Pradeep Moraes said, “This is a significant development not just for Altair, but for the property development sector in general, in the context of current sentiment in the market and the rising impairment charges and NPL ratios in the banking sector. We commend the three banks for their positive approach to the opportunity presented by Altair”.
The short term syndicated loan was arranged by NDB Investment Bank Limited (NDBIB) and Bank of Ceylon. In a letter to buyers of apartments at Altair, Indocean Developers said the security offered under this loan is the only encumbrance placed on the project.
Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. Structural construction has been completed and 70 per cent of its apartments are already sold.
The building comprises of two tower blocks, which are oriented to the movement of the sun to harness the tropical breezes. A 63-storey sloping tower leans in to a taller, 68-storey vertical tower, with a diagrid structure that visually accentuates the slope of the inclined stepped tower. The unique combination of a straight and a sloping tower gives the building the distinctive appearance that has made it an iconic element in Colombo’s rapidly changing skyline.
Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of Colombo’s Beira Lake, the Port of Colombo, the Indian Ocean and the city. The diagrid structure is highly rationalised and allows for naturally ventilated and beautifully-lit units that are very private. The staggered stepped form of the leaning tower also allows for large terraces, which provide prime city and direct ocean views.
Altair’s apartments range from 1,468 square foot two-bedroom units to palatial and eponymously appointed Presidential Suites and Sky Villas of up to 5,277 of square feet. Prices range from US$ 525,000 to US$ 2 million. A distinguishing feature of Altair is that 45 per cent of total space has been set aside for public areas, which is well above the industry average.