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The Pedlar

Sharing the best of real estate, design, lifestyle and everything in between, The Pedlar is a place for us to post our own musings, ideas, and hopefully inspire a soul or two.

Real estate developers and hoteliers by trade with an eye for design, we'll be reporting from our headquarters in Shanghai and Sri Lanka.

Anyone who has followed this blog has noticed that on multiple occasions we have chronicled Sri Lanka’s growing ties with China, mostly due to the latter’s investments in the former’s infrastructure projects. But much like many other emerging markets that have found themselves more deeply enmeshed in its relationships with China in recent years, Sri Lanka is at a crossroads trying to determine how to define the relationship with one of their largest creditors. The editorial from the “Sunday Times” frames the conversation in a succinct and deeply informative way. Give it a read and let us know your thoughts.

Cooray finishes 55th
Alas, the fairytale of a Sri Lanka’s Olympic marathoner Anuradha Cooray was not meant to be. Cooray was not able to catch up after a slow start but finished a respectable 55th for a time of 2:20:41, a little over 7 minutes slower than his personal best. 
After the race, Cooray mentioned the weather made the competition difficult for most runners. “The weather was not the ideal and it affected all of us. I did my level best but that was the best what I could do under such conditions,” Cooray said.
Given the relatively long career spans of elite marathoners, we’re hoping the 34-year-old Cooray will be back for the Olympics in 2016.

Cooray finishes 55th

Alas, the fairytale of a Sri Lanka’s Olympic marathoner Anuradha Cooray was not meant to be. Cooray was not able to catch up after a slow start but finished a respectable 55th for a time of 2:20:41, a little over 7 minutes slower than his personal best. 

After the race, Cooray mentioned the weather made the competition difficult for most runners. “The weather was not the ideal and it affected all of us. I did my level best but that was the best what I could do under such conditions,” Cooray said.

Given the relatively long career spans of elite marathoners, we’re hoping the 34-year-old Cooray will be back for the Olympics in 2016.

More Sri Lankan Olympics!

We can’t get more of stories about our favorite Sri Lankan marathoner, Anuradha Cooray, who is competing as the country’s sole representative in the marathon in two days. Just last week, we chronicled about he runs 17 miles to and from work every day in Aylesbury, England for his training but only after coming across this article did we learn that even people he works with every day didn’t know that he was competing in the Olympics until just recently. 

We’re wishing Anuradha a merryful carbo loading the next couple of days, hopefully complete with a platter of his bakery’s goods, and a fruitful marathon.

World Beware - Sri Lankan Badminton Star Making History
We are so caught up with the current Olympics that we decided to continue with the team of the sporting spectacle by focusing on another Sri Lankan Olympian, Niluka Karunaratne. Karunaratne is Sri Lanka’s captain at this year’s installment of the games and the 38th-ranked player in the world. He aims to be a top-10 ranked player, according to an interview he conducted with the Daily News, and why not with “his power-packed smashes and impressive net killings”. He pulled over the first major upset in the tournament by defeating eighth-ranked Kenichi Tago of Japan 21-18, 21-16 on Monday.
“This is the biggest win in the history of Sri Lanka badminton,” Niluka Karunaratne said with obvious pride. Here’s to many more historical wins during this and future Olympics for Sri Lanka badminton.

World Beware - Sri Lankan Badminton Star Making History

We are so caught up with the current Olympics that we decided to continue with the team of the sporting spectacle by focusing on another Sri Lankan Olympian, Niluka Karunaratne. Karunaratne is Sri Lanka’s captain at this year’s installment of the games and the 38th-ranked player in the world. He aims to be a top-10 ranked player, according to an interview he conducted with the Daily News, and why not with “his power-packed smashes and impressive net killings”. He pulled over the first major upset in the tournament by defeating eighth-ranked Kenichi Tago of Japan 21-18, 21-16 on Monday.

“This is the biggest win in the history of Sri Lanka badminton,” Niluka Karunaratne said with obvious pride. Here’s to many more historical wins during this and future Olympics for Sri Lanka badminton.

Sri Lankan is a full-time employee at bakery…and the country’s sole representative for the marathon
Check out this story from The Daily Mail about Anuradha Cooray, the Sri Lankan native who currently lives in London where he works as an employee of Greggs the Bakers while also spending 38 hours a week training for the marathon. While Sri Lanka might not be sponsoring his training, the bakery does, giving him four weeks of special paid leave whenever he needs to up his training to over 90 miles a week. The pastries, which he says to devour, seems to be doing magic as he was able to qualify for the Olympics through his performance at the London Marathon and has recorded a personal best of 2 hours and 16 minutes which puts him against the very best in the sport.
Cooray is one of six athletes who will represent Sri Lanka at the London Olympics. Though chances for Sri Lanka medaling are slim - they’ve only won two medals in its entire history - there certainly isn’t a lack of excitement for the sports-mad country. (Perhaps for Rio, Sri Lanka should take to heart the concept of medalball proposed by Nate Silver.)

Sri Lankan is a full-time employee at bakery…and the country’s sole representative for the marathon

Check out this story from The Daily Mail about Anuradha Cooray, the Sri Lankan native who currently lives in London where he works as an employee of Greggs the Bakers while also spending 38 hours a week training for the marathon. While Sri Lanka might not be sponsoring his training, the bakery does, giving him four weeks of special paid leave whenever he needs to up his training to over 90 miles a week. The pastries, which he says to devour, seems to be doing magic as he was able to qualify for the Olympics through his performance at the London Marathon and has recorded a personal best of 2 hours and 16 minutes which puts him against the very best in the sport.

Cooray is one of six athletes who will represent Sri Lanka at the London Olympics. Though chances for Sri Lanka medaling are slim - they’ve only won two medals in its entire history - there certainly isn’t a lack of excitement for the sports-mad country. (Perhaps for Rio, Sri Lanka should take to heart the concept of medalball proposed by Nate Silver.)

Sri Lanka Sells $1 Billion of 10-Year Bonds at 5.875% Yield

Just last week, Sri Lanka issued another US $1 billion in 10-year bonds at a record-low 5.875% yield, 375 basis points below the yield for a similar issuance just a year ago. At a 10x rate of subscription, it appears as though investors - 90% of which were fund managers - have demonstrated real optimism for Sri Lanka’s growth prospects as most of the money raised in this offering will be used towards continued infrastructure investment in roads, ports, and power plants. 

To read more about the bond offering, check out Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s article here.

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

Anybody who’s traveled through Weligama in recent months knew about a large structure going up along the beach but until today, its identity was not confirmed: Marriott is coming to Weligama, close to our 3 villa development in Weligama as well as our own planned resort in Thalpe. If things continue to shape up as expected, it won’t be soon before Weligama becomes the tourist destination of Sri Lanka, given its close proximity to Galle, the surf-friendly waves, and pristine beaches.

The press release below:

HONG KONG, China, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Marriott International has signed an agreement with Weligama Hotel Properties Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of East West Properties PLC, to open a hotel in Sri Lanka, the Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa 2014 - this will be Marriott’s first property on the Indian Ocean island.

The 200-room, 11-storey Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, will be operated under Marriott’s flagship Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand.

"Marriott is delighted to be extending its portfolio and opening a world-class hotel in Sri Lanka," commented Simon Cooper, president and managing director Marriott, Asia Pacific. "Sri Lanka is a destination that has great potential and opportunity and we hope to capitalise on that and establish a strong presence in the country. We are confident that the reputation of Marriott Hotels and Resorts and the power of Marriott Rewards, our loyalty programme, will create great interest from both local and international travellers and be successful in promoting the beautiful area of Weligama Bay, as well as the country itself as this is our first hotel here."

Commenting on the project Mr. Nahil Wijesuriya, Chairman, East West Properties PLC said: “We are among the first companies in Sri Lanka to sign up with an international branded hotel company and to open as early as 2014. The resort is being built according to Marriott International’s five star brand standards, with a beach frontage of 115 meters on the Galle-Matara road in the South-East of the country. The construction is being carried out in-house by East West Engineering Services (Pvt) Ltd. so we have direct control of every aspect of the construction of the resort and are confident that it will be of the highest standards and quality.”

Marriott International is a world renowned operator and franchiser of a broad portfolio of hotels and resorts which include Bulgari Hotels and Resorts and The Ritz Carlton. Marriott International currently operates over 3,700 hotels in over 73 countries and territories around the globe. Marriott Hotels and Resorts are Marriott International’s signature and most widely distributed brand and is also known for the world’s largest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards.

Weligama, located 144km from Colombo is a popular tourist destination renowned for its sandy beaches. Famous for its stilt-fishermen perched on a cross bar of a single pole planted into the sea bed, this attraction has been captured in every corner of the world depicting Sri Lanka as a preferred destination of choice for travellers from all over the world.

The Hotel will be located in Weligama, a part of Matara which is one of the largest cities on the south coast of Sri Lanka, where tourism and fishing are the two main businesses. Tourism is the mainstay of the south-western coast of Sri Lanka. The services sector is expected to be the primary engine of growth in coming years which is expected to be led by tourism.

2011 was declared as the “Visit Sri Lanka” year by the government. The country witnessed record levels of tourist arrivals in the early months of the year; a trend that is expected to continue for the remainder of the year.

"We see great opportunity in Sri Lanka with ever-increasing visitor numbers to the country," continued Cooper. "While India, UK and Germany are the largest source markets for hotels in Sri Lanka; the Middle East and Russia are the emerging source markets and with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority ("SLTDA") aiming to achieve a target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016 we are confident of attracting great leisure and business guests to the property."

With some 640sq metres of flexible ballroom space, the hotel should prove extremely popular in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) market. While those travelling to Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa on holiday, will be able to take full advantage of the wide leisure offering at the hotel which includes three restaurants, a pool with a pool bar, spa, fitness centre and a beautiful stretch of beach.

Photo courtesy of http://marriottresortweligamabay.blogspot.com/

Ceylon Luxury is one of our favorite blogs about Sri Lanka’s growing hospitality market and we thought we’d share a recent piece about the planned tourist-focused city of Katana, located just north of Colombo, a US $3 billion project by Singapore’s Asian Resorts & Casinos. Enjoy.

Northern Highway Nearing Completion

2012 has been marked by a number of major milestones in infrastructure for Sri Lanka with the completions of first phase of the southern highway (pictured above) and the Hambantota port. Now comes word that the northern highway, which will eventually link Colombo to Kandy to Jaffna, will have its first section complete in two months. A US $1 billion project, the highway is a major effort by the government to reunite the southern and northern parts of the country that for many decades were disconnected. The completion of the highway will take at least another 4 year.

A day out in the Indian Ocean

Photo by Gorka Nelson. Check out his amazing photography here.