Sri Lanka Stops Foreign Land Ownership
In an abrupt move last week the government of Sri Lanka has announced a ban on land ownership for foreigners. This will cover both privately held property and state enterprises.
While the civil war ended three years ago and a rush of foreigners has taken up property, the government has said there has not been enough further investment via hard economic benefits. Much of the concerns is that early investors have been speculators and not those interested in developing significant businesses.
At the same time many foreign investors have been put onto the sidelines for much of last year over concerns about high inflation, weakening currency and rising interest rates.
A regime of long term leases is the governments apparent solution to the ban. The shifting policy is expected to put up another obstacle to foreign investment and may further dampen sentiment about the ongoing economic stability of the country.