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Relaxation of property holding restrictions by foreigners in Sri Lanka

放宽外国人在斯里兰卡的财产限制

Foreign individuals, foreign companies and local companies with a foreign shareholding 50% or more are not permitted to acquire land and buildings with effect from 1st January 2013, as per the provisions of the Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Act No. 38 of 2014 (as amended). The Land Alienation Act applies to the ownership and acquisition of both state-owned land as well as land that is privately owned, and includes: (i) any interest in the land; (ii) any land covered with water; and (iii) any house or building situated on land.

根据2014年第38号“土地(限制异化)法”的规定,外国个人,外国公司和外国持股50%或以上的当地公司从2013年1月1日起不得购买土地和建筑物( 经修正)。 “土地异化法”适用于国有土地和私有土地的所有权和收购,包括:(i)土地的任何权益; (ii)任何被水覆盖的土地; (iii)位于陆地上的任何房屋或建筑物。

The Budget Proposal for the year 2018 proposed to remove the restrictions, which limit the land ownership rights of listed companies with foreign ownership. Accordingly, Land (Restriction on Alienation) (Amendment) Act No.21 of 2018 (“Amending Act”) was enacted with effect from 1st April 2018 to give effect to the following exemptions:

2018年的预算提案建议取消限制拥有外国所有权的上市公司的土地所有权的限制。因此,自2018年4月1日起实施2018年第21号土地(限制异化)(修订)法(“修订法”),实施以下豁免:

Condominium Units

公寓单位

Under the previous laws, the restrictions on land ownership did not apply to a condominium unit over the situated above on or above the 4th floor of a building (excluding the ground level floor and floors which accommodates only common elements). In terms of the Amending Act, any condominium parcel specified under the Apartment Ownership Law will be exempt from the application of the ownership restrictions, provided that the entire purchase consideration is paid upfront through an inward foreign remittance prior to the execution of the deed of transfer.

根据以前的法律,对土体所有权的限制不适用于位于建筑物4层或以上的共管公寓单位(不包括一楼和只容纳公共元素的楼层)。在修订法案中,公寓所有权法规定的任何公寓地块将不受所有权限制的适用,前提是在签订转让契约前,所有的购买金额是通过外汇汇款预先支付。

Listed Companies

上市公司

Any land, the title of which is transferred on or after 1st April 2018 to a company listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, with a direct or indirect foreign majority shareholding, will not be subject to such restrictions. Therefore, any transfer of land after 1st April 2018 to a listed company with a direct or indirect foreign majority shareholding will not be prohibited.

2018年4月1日或之后转让给在科伦坡证券交易所上市的公司、外资直接或间接持有多数股权的土地,将不受此类限制。因此,不禁止在2018年4月1日后将土地转让给外资直接或间接持有多数股权的上市公司。

The amendment does not validate any purchase of land by listed companies with a majority of foreign shareholders prior to the effective date. Further, it appears that restrictions on foreign ownership of land are still applicable if a listed company owning property with a majority of local shareholders subsequently increases its indirect / foreign shareholding to 50% or above. Therefore, such transactions will continue to be prohibited and void and shall have no effect in law.

该修正案不认可在生效日前以大多数外国股东的上市公司购买土地的行为。此外,如果上市公司拥有的财产中有大多数是当地股东,其后将其外资持有的股权间接/直接增至50%或以上,则对外资拥有土地所有权的限制仍然适用。因此,此类交易继续被禁止和无效,不具法律效应。

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