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S. Africa building firm WBHO quits Australia, blames Covid-19 restrictions

South Africa's building firm giant Wilson Bayly Holmes - Ovcon Ltd said it is pulling out of Australia, saying the country's strict Covid response impacted its property market.

A medical worker in a protective suit collects a swab from a resident for nucleic acid testing at a makeshift testing site for the coronavirus disease, after local cases of the Omicron variant were detected, in Tianjin (Photo: Reuters)
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S. Africa building firm WBHO quits Australia, blames Covid-19 restrictions (Photo: Reuters)

Reuters Sydney
South Africa's biggest construction firm Wilson Bayly Holmes - Ovcon Ltd (WBHO) said it is pulling out of Australia, saying the country's "hardline" COVID-19 response had impacted its property market and created business uncertainty.

The move amounts to one of Australia's most visible corporate casualties linked to the pandemic and undercuts government claims that stimulus programs through two years of stop-start lockdowns saved businesses and jobs.

In a Johannesburg Stock Exchange filing, WBHO said it pulled financial support for Australian unit Probuild and put it into external administration because "project delivery capability...has been negatively affected by unforeseen and severe COVID-19

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First Published: Feb 24 2022 | 8:11 AM IST

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