Canadian pension fund gets four road assets in India from Isolux Corsan

Canadian pension fund gets four road assets in India from Isolux Corsan

The four road assets total 710km and are a part of a global transaction with Spanish infrastructure company Grupo Isolux Corsan

PSP Investments has become the second Canadian pension fund to expand its footprint in India’s highways sector, assuming ownership of four toll roads totalling 710km as part of a global transaction with Spanish infrastructure company Grupo Isolux Corsan.

These are a 291km road from Panipat to Jalandhar in Haryana and Punjab, a 94km project from Kishangarh to Beawar in Rajasthan, a 133km project from the Maharashtra-Gujarat border to Hazira in Gujarat and a 192km project from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Aurangabad in Bihar.

Isolux Corsan in May said it has completed the legal process of separating subsidiary Isolux Infrastructure from itself in order to transfer a portfolio of nine global road assets to PSP Investments. PSP has renamed Isolux Infrastructure as ROADIS, a highways platform. The deal value was not disclosed. On Wednesday, the Canadian fund said ROADIS, which owns four road assets in India and five others across Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and the US totalling 1,644km, has now become its subsidiary.

The Indian assets will be headed by Nithyanand Appak, a company spokesperson said in response to an email query. According to the Isolux website, €2 billion (about Rs.15,100 crore) was invested in these four projects.

The other Canadian pension fund with a large investment in India’s roads sector is the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country’s largest pension fund. In 2014, it announced it would invest a Rs.2,000 crore in Larsen and Toubro Ltd subsidiary L&T IDPL, which owns 17 road assets.

In November, PSP had agreed to buy a 49% stake in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution business of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure Ltd in Mumbai and adjoining areas. The deal is yet to close.

In October, Mint had reported that Canadian Pension funds including Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and PSP Investments were looking to invest in the Indian infrastructure sector and have started scouting for assets. Global pension funds and sovereign wealth funds may invest up to $50 billion in the sector over the next five years, said a March report by investment bank Ambit Corporate Finance.

Of the four ROADIS road projects in India, three in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh were built under a joint venture with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MSI), the infrastructure investing platform of Morgan Stanley. In 2011, MSI and Isolux Corsan jointly committed an investment of $400 million to construct three highway projects in India. The three projects, spanning over 400km, had an estimated cost of over $1.6 billion. These projects were won by Isolux Corsan Concesiones, an Indian subsidiary of Isolux Corsan, on a build-operate-transfer basis.

PSP Investments had 112 billion Canadian dollars in net assets under management as of 30 September. It manages a diversified global portfolio of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt.

Madrid-based Isolux Corsan also operates power transmission projects in India.

Courtesy –

Half of Chinese property buyers delay UK deals until after EU vote

Half of Chinese property buyers delay UK deals until after EU vote

The world’s biggest trading bloc with several recent polls indicating an increase in support for the leave, or Brexit, campaign, stoking fears of market instability.

Half of Chinese investors are holding back from buying property in Britain until after the country’s referendum on EU membership, a survey showed on Wednesday, though a quarter say they are more eager to complete purchases before the vote.

A total of 51 percent of the 411 Chinese property professionals and investors surveyed by, the largest real estate portal that targets Chinese buyers looking abroad, said the June 23 vote had made them hold back from deals.

Britons vote in just over a week on whether to remain part of the world’s biggest trading bloc with several recent polls indicating an increase in support for the leave, or Brexit, campaign, stoking fears of market instability.

Transactions in commercial property fell by 40 percent in the first quarter, according to the Bank of England, with many buyers and sellers waiting to see the outcome in case an exit vote hurts property prices.

However, 46 percent of Chinese investors said demand would rise if Britain left the EU, almost as many as the 52 percent who responded that remaining in the EU would boost interest, according to the research carried out between June 2 and 5.

Chinese investors are among the biggest foreign buyers of UK property, especially in London and Manchester.

Of the 42 British property professionals – including estate agents and consultants – surveyed by, 50 percent said there was decreasing demand from international buyers in British property.

“The overall picture here is one of uncertainty,” said the site’s UK head Bernie Morris.

“The fact that few feel they know what the true impact of Brexit would be is holding buyers back.” (Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter)

Courtesy – ET Realty

Indian real estate may attract $2 billion investment from Japan: report

Indian real estate may attract $2 billion investment from Japan: report

Realty consultant JLL India said in a report that the country is emerging as major investment destination for Chinese and Japanese developers

Japanese developers and private equity investors are looking to enter the Indian property market and could invest at least $2 billion over the next three years in residential as well as industrial projects, says Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

The realty consultant said that the country is emerging as major investment destination for Chinese and Japanese developers.

China’s biggest developer Wanda has signed an MoU with Haryana government earlier this year and more developers from China and Japan are expected to enter the Indian realty market, it said. Private equity investors from these two countries are also looking at entering India’s real estate sector, it added.

“Japanese developers are keen to explore strategic partnerships and enter into joint ventures with Indian builders, and are particularly interested in industrial projects. There is likely to be an inflow of at least $2 billion in investments from Japan into the Indian real estate market over the next three years,” JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said.

After 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) was allowed into the real estate industry, it was only a matter of time before foreign developers made big investment announcements, he said.

“One of China’s most prominent developers, Dalian Wanda Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) earlier this year with the northern state of Haryana to develop ‘Wanda Industrial New City’. The investment of $10 billion, phased out over the next decade, is a very significant outlay by any Chinese company in India,” Puri said.

Other Chinese developers are also interested in India and most likely to follow suit, he added. The RICS-JLL survey this January had shown that 62% of the respondents felt that institutions from Japan and China could come knocking to the Indian real estate market in 2016.

Courtesy –

Private equity: Worst over for industry but old worries remain

Private equity: Worst over for industry but old worries remain

PE returns took a tumble owing to a gaggle of factors such as unfavorable currency rate, regulatory challenges, poor level of governance and expensive valuations.

A decade ago, Indian private equity funds were globally venerated. Often, the mere mention of India was enough to entice investors. It was also a period when the BRICS grouping of nations dominated the strategy of most global investors who wanted to cash in on their high growth rates.

The party didn’t last long. PE returns took a tumble owing to a gaggle of factors such as unfavourable currency rate, regulatory challenges, poor level of governance and expensive valuations. It didn’t help that fund managers were an indisciplined lot. But the worst seems to be over.

New Dawn PE investments in India experienced a robust increase over 2015, according to a report in May by global consulting agency Bain & Co. “Deal value, including real estate, infrastructure and venture capital (VC) deals, increased by 51% to $22.9 billionsurpassing 2007 peak levels of $17.1 billion. Overall deal volume in India grew by 31%. Overall deal value also rose as a result of a few megadeals,” says the report.

India’s strong GDP growth – 7.2% in FY1 compared with 5.4% in FY14 – making it the only bright spot in the emerging markets group has also had a profound impact on PE investors. Canadian Pension Funds such as CPPIB, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, or CDPQ, Partners Group and several sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) from the middle east, among others, have established India offices in 2015.

Likewise, recently raised funds such as Renuka Ramnath’s Multiples, IVFA, Everstone and IDFC have all seen a significant co-investment option, embedded by their investors – limited partners, or LPs – enabling them to partner directly in good investment opportunities. Even the exit market in India performed exceedingly well in 2015.

The number of reported exits grew 10% in 2015 from a year ago, and the value of exited investments increased by 57% in the same period, rising to $9.4 billion from $6 billion. Public market sales, secondary sales and strategic sales were equally prominent as exit options. Average deal sizes were significantly higher for secondary and strategic sales.

The Bain report says the number of deals SWFs participated in directly increased to 24 in 2015 from 19 in 2014. PE firms expect co-investments with LPs to further increase in 2016. The recovery has come at a heavy price. Smaller mid-market private equity funds headed by first time managers have mostly been obliterated over the last decade; only the ones with better track record and teams have survived the crushing blows.

This was inevitable. The inability of India to generate billion dollar deals forced most of the large buyout funds to look at smaller deals, thus crowding the midmarket and nudging the weaker players out. A recent annual report by PwC says even traditional global buyout funds have had to tailor their approach and compete in the otherwise crowded growth capital space.

“A lot of people raised funds but not everyone had the capability to deliver,” says Harish HV, partner at Grant Thornton India. Funds such as Kitara, Canaan, Summit Partners, Avigo, India Equity Partners, DFJ and 3i, to name a few, have failed to get a new lease of life from their LPs. Others such as CX, Macquarie, IL&FS have struggled to raise money.

That means it is still early to say that a full-blown recovery is underway. Top PE fund managers reveal that investors aren’t coming in hordes this time despite the government’s best efforts to attract them. The head of global fund in India says investors have learnt that operating in India is not easy. “Indian promoters are difficult to work with.

Controlling and running a business in India needs a different set of skills.” Indeed, even established funds have had to struggle. Take the PE behemoth Blackstone. It got its India strategy completely wrong. After making a series of miscalculated investments in Gokaldas Textiles, Moser Baer, MCX and FT, the fund tweaked its focus in 2014 and is back in the market in a new avatar.

The team under new co-heads Cyriac Matthew and Amit Dixit is now taking calculated bets on sectors they understand well and have tasted success in the past. Even so, the industry has shown remarkable resilience. Though the total number of funds investing in India today has decreased from 177 in 2006 to 103 today, the total assets under management have risen steadily, data shows.

In 2006, 17 private equity funds raised $3.6 billion to invest in Indian markets but nearly the same amount ($3.27 billion) was raised by seven funds in 2015, data from Venture Intelligence shows.

Ecommerce: New Favourite The other big change in the past decade has been the emergence of ecommerce as a high growth sector. The sector has taken the lion’s share of the largest deals in the PE space in the last four years. “The surge in PE investments in 2015 was largely owed to the ecommerce sector which saw deals worth $5.3 billion across 290 deals. Together the sector has seen almost $10 billion of PE investments in 2014 and 2015,” the PwC report observed.

The set of investors in the ecommerce sector is new. The traditional big boys and conservative midmarket investors have consciously stayed away from the ecommerce frenzy. This is because ecommerce businesses continue to make losses and have this failed to justify the value at which they trade to the top global funds. Going forward, further consolidation will occur, with 75 to 80 investors in the fray, according to fund managers and industry watchers.

Ecommerce and buyout funds will continue to dominate the industry. Large buyout funds, late growth investors, early stage investors and the venture capital funds will hold sway over the next decade.

“With fewer players, pricing and deal terms are expected to get more realistic. While adequate opportunities for venture and growth capital will continue to arise from the next wave of professional entrepreneurs, there is a general belief that large funds are likely to see greater buyout opportunities than ever before, as the over-levered corporate India seeks to inject fresh equity by selling its ‘non-core’ assets or giving up control,” the PwC report said.

Courtesy – ET Realty

I Squared Capital to invest up to $1 billion in India

I Squared Capital to invest up to $1 billion in India

I Squared Capital has committed to invest in road assets worth Rs8,000 crore through Cube Highways, and in assets worth Rs2,000 crore to its rooftop solar platform Amplus Energy Solutions

US private equity (PE) firm I Squared Capital is looking to invest as much as $1 billion (around Rs.6,700 crore) in Indian infrastructure, including roads, logistics and rooftop solar power projects.

“While we don’t have country specific allocations, we can see ourselves putting somewhere from $500-600 million to a billion dollar plus in the country over the life of our fund. If the right opportunity shows up, then we can transact at that scale,” said Gautam Bhandari, partner at I Squared Capital, who is looking to deploy about one-third of its funds under management in the region.

In 2015, I Squared Capital raised a $3 billion fund named ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund. That corpus has now grown to $3.8 billion, Bhandari said in an interview on Thursday.

I Squared has invested more than Rs.1,000 crore through its investment platform Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte Ltd in three road assets till date. It has committed to invest in assets worth Rs.2,000 crore to its rooftop solar platform.

Founded in 2012 by former Morgan Stanley executives, I Squared Capital is an independent global infrastructure investment manager that is focused on energy, utilities and transport in North America, Europe and some high-growth economies. It was started by Sadek Wahba (former global head of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure), Gautam Bhandari (earlier head of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure in India, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa) along with Adil Rahmathulla (the head of investment execution in the Americas for the group).

The investment firm is looking at only doing so-called control deals, giving them more say over their investee companies.

“We do deals in which we have governance and control. That can really add a lot of value to our portfolio companies and, therefore, to the assets,” Bhandari said.

He considers the road assets in India to be a highly attractive investment opportunity.

“We take a very nuanced approach, where we like some of the assets within infrastructure in India; we think some assets need lot of policy and regulatory help before they can become mature enough for investments. So, specifically, the road sector is one which we have identified in India as being attractive globally,” said Bhandari.

Besides, the risks in the road sector are lower now, given the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) standardized concession agreements and progressive policies, he added.

The sentiment around the road sector has improved in the recent times, primarily on the back of policy and regulatory decisions by the government and NHAI, said Vishwas Udgirkar, senior director at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd.

I Squared Capital is looking at risk-adjusted annual returns between 15% and 20% from the road sector, Bhandari said.

I Squared Capital has invested in Indian road projects through Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte Ltd—its toll road and transportation investment platform. Cube Highways is a joint venture between I Squared Capital and International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank.

Cube Highways has made three investments in India till date: a 74% stake in Madhucon Agra Jaipur Expressways Ltd, a 100% stake in Western UP Tollway Ltd and 74% acquisition of Jaipur Mahua Tollways Pvt. Ltd, a road project in Rajasthan for Rs.525 crore.

I Squared Capital has committed to invest in road assets worth Rs.8,000 crore through Cube Highways.

The firm will also look at creating platforms for investing in the logistics business and warehouses and bring in equity partners for the same. “As a strategy, we love to partner. On Cube, we have a significant investment of 20% with the IFC. As we look at logistics we are open to partnering with people who have specialized focus on logistics,” said Bhandari.

Investing in logistics and warehousing is part of I Squared Capital’s India investment plans.

“Our near-term expansion plan will be on the associated peripherals of highways. We are working actively with NHAI, in some of these peripherals like wayside amenities. We are also planning to convert two of our roads to intelligent highways, which could be a big business in the future,” said Harikishan Reddy, chief executive officer of Cube Highways Advisors.

Out of the planned Rs.8,000- crore commitment, Cube Highways plans to have 70-75% of its assets in the road sector and the rest in other sectors like logistics, warehouses and wayside amenities.

“The thesis that we have when we do these platforms is one of technology-led turnaround,” Bhandari said, adding that technology has allowed Cube Highways to improve the operating performance of highways significantly and the warehousing sector is on the verge of a similar technology-led story.

Besides roads, I Squared Capital has made significant financial commitments in the renewable energy sector. It has committed to invest in assets worth Rs.2,000 crore to its rooftop solar platform Amplus Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The platform sets up rooftop solar power solutions for industrial and commercial clients.

However, in the short term, the fund plans to stay away from large scale solar power projects.

“The utility scale larger power projects tend to be very competitive, and the returns are simply not attractive enough for us from a risk-adjusted perspective,” said Bhandari.

Large projects in the solar sector will undergo the trajectory of roads, which witnessed high exuberance followed by several challenges, he said. I Squared Capital’s bullish stance on the road sector comes at a time when most infrastructure and road developers are reeling under huge debt. In certain cases, lenders have been forced to take over some of these companies through the strategic debt restructuring (SDR) mechanism.

SDR allows lenders to convert their debt into at least 51% equity in borrowers.

Lenders have initiated SDR process at several infrastructure firms, such as Gammon India Ltd, IVRCL Ltd and Lanco Infratech Ltd.

According to a 13 May report by Kotak Institutional Equities, road asset sales worth around Rs.20,800 crore have been announced in the last three-and-a-half years by debt-laden infrastructure developers.

While firms might be under pressure to sell assets, not much has changed in terms of valuations, said Reddy of Cube Highways Advisors, adding that the valuation expectations of sellers remain high.

Also, banks have not been as active as their Western counterparts in cases of distressed infrastructure developers, added Bhandari.

“While the banks have woken up to this, they are still less active than what they have been in the West. If this was the US or any other developed market, I think the banks by now would have more or less completed their restructuring,” he said.

Infrastructure is a key focus for the Narendra Modi-led government to stimulate investments into the country.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech this year, announced that the total government capital expenditure on infrastructure during the fiscal year will be Rs.2.21 trillion.

Courtesy –

IKEA planning to expand production unit in India

IKEA planning to expand production unit in India

IKEA CEO Peter Agnefjäll said that that the company is planning to target the large middle class section in the country

With its first store in India set to open next year, Swedish furniture retailer IKEA will consider setting up a production unit in the country.
The company, which has already purchased land in Hyderabad and Mumbai to start retail operations, is also looking to double sourcing of products for its global operations from India by 2020.
“It is important for us to set up our production (unit) in India,” IKEA Group President and CEO Peter Agnefjäll said.
Explaining the reasons for the need to have production facilities in India, he said: “On one hand that would support the growth of the economy and secondly, what we do is that we sell products, which are inexpensive. You can not distribute these inexpensive products long distances because if you do that, then you would ruin the margin of the product.”
Agnefjäll further said: “So it’s important for us to go for the local production. If we have the right technology, right raw materials, then we can combine them with our knowledge and turn it into a fantastic product.
Agnefjäll also talks about the target segments that they will be planning to target in the country.
“I think we can reach the big middle class and not the affluent few,” he said.
When asked about the total investments that IKEA is planning for India, he said: “Well, we are estimating that we need to invest more than 1.5 billion euros in the coming period in stores and distribution etc. It’s very difficult to be spot on but I think it would be enough.”
IKEA will open its first store in India at Hyderabad in the second half of 2017. It has also bought land in Mumbai as part of its expansion in India even as it scouts for more sites in Delhi-NCR, and Bengaluru.
The company, which received government approval in 2013 for its Rs 10,500 crore proposal to open retail stores under 100 per cent FDI, plans to open 25 stores by 2025 in nine Indian cities.
Commenting on sourcing from India, Agnefjäll said: “Overall we are saying that we would double our sourcing from India by 2020.”
In 2015, IKEA had sourced goods worth 315 million euros from India, in which textiles contributed around 70 per cent of that.
Stressing on the need to increase sourcing from India, he said: “It’s also about finding new opportunities. We know already that India is very competitive on textiles but there are things, which you could produce in a competitive way. For instance you have plenty of bamboos. Could you make flat line furniture out of bamboo? It’s one of the things my colleagues are looking into…”
When asked if the company would also promote Indian designs, he said: “This could be good possibility. We have a collection that we have done and developed it together with Indian designers. That is very fascinating.”
Elaborating on the company’s future plans for stores in India, he said: “Our thinking goes much beyond one store of Hyderabad. Our focus is on four territories in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. When we would cover them off course we would look beyond.”
Stating these are starting points, he said: “It would keep us occupied for a number of years to go but eventually we would like to be (there) for the many people living in India beyond those territories too.”
When asked how soon IKEA could open its stores in North India, specially around Delhi he said: “It’s difficult to say.
It’s about actually how fast can we find sites, acquire them and make sure that they get retailing permits and build our stores on it.
“It’s not entirely up to us to say let’s do it in 2-3 years. It’s all about what are the opportunities in the market.”
He said for a big city like Delhi, IKEA would probably need three to five stores to cover it in a good way and added the company would really like to locate its stores where there is good connection to public transportation too.

Courtesy – The Indian Express

Bring on real estate investment trusts

Bring on real estate investment trusts

A wait for market conditions to improve further to transfer ownership to Reits could prove indefinite. The best time to get going is now.

It is time real estate investment trusts (Reits), investment vehicles akin to a mutual fund, took off. They now have a tax regime that suits their requirements. Timely launch will boost returns for Reits, help developers saddled with debt, offload inventory and reduce bad loans on the banks’ books. Typically , Reits own commercial properties such as apartment complexes, shopping malls, hotels, office buildings. Rentals from properties owned and managed by them form a substantial slice of their revenues. Reits will also help finance the physical infrastructure of India’s rapid urbanization.

The Blackstone Group and its partner Bangalore-based Embassy Group have reportedly hived off their portfolio of as sets into a separate company , which would be the first step to unlock value through a listing. Sebi has already put in place a robust regulatory framework for Reits.

Read More…

Courtesy – ET Realty

3D printer to make ‘endless’ houses

3D printer to make ‘endless’ houses

A Dutch architect Wednesday unveiled a unique 3D printer with which he aims to construct a large building “without beginning or end” shaped like an infinite loop.

“It’s just like a normal printer,” architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars told AFP as he presented the tool he hopes to use to build what he has dubbed the “Landscape House”.

“But instead of putting ink onto paper, we are putting a liquid onto sand which solidifies wherever the liquid has been spread.”

Ruijssenaars, of Universe Architecture in Amsterdam, aims to print the Mobius strip-shaped building with around 1,100 square metres (12,000 square feet) of floor space using the massive D-Shape printer. Designed by Italian Enrico Dini, the printer can print up to almost a six-metre-by-six-metre square (20-foot-by-20-foot), using a computer to help build up fine layers of 5-10 mm (a quarter to half an inch) thick.

The machine is almost two metres long and has been set up in a warehouse in Amsterdam, where the final tests are being carried out before pressing ahead with the start of building.

“The ambition was to make a building that has an infinite structure, like planet Earth,” said Ruijssenaars.

“Planet Earth doesn’t have a beginning or an ending and we were looking for a shape that has the same quality,” he added.

“It didn’t become a circle but it became a very complex, Mobius strip which is a well-known mathematics figure which just has one side.” The ambitious project was first unveiled in 2013, and the team has been in touch with various partners hoping to be able to start construction “within the next few years.”

Read More…

Courtesy –  ET Realty

India Warehousing Show (IWS) 2016

India Warehousing Show (IWS) 2016

Millennium Soft-Tech (India) Pvt. Ltd., a leading POS technology provider in India having wide partner network, is showcasing the most advanced POS technology to support warehousing, logistics and supply chain management at ‘India Warehousing Show (IWS) 2016, which begins on June 8 at PragatiMaidan in New Delhi.

Millennium will be displaying some of the widely used, industry specific and application-oriented POS devices such as wired and wireless barcode scanners, portable data terminals, industrial and domestic barcode printers, colour label printers, data collectors, portable data terminals and table-top scanners from the world’s leading brands like Toshiba, Honeywell, GoDex, Epson and Opticon.

Speaking on Millennium’s second successive participation in India Warehousing Show, Bhaskar Venkatraman, group Director of Millennium India, said: “We are overwhelmed to be a part of one of the largest warehousing expos in the world. We have over two decades of market exposure in the Point Of Sale technology in India, which we are bringing in here to showcase the latest advancement in technology to benefit warehousing, logistics, material handling and supply chain businesses. We strive to reach out to them with the most modern and latest POS technology and help them sophisticate their businesses through wide range of POS products suitable for their application and industry.”

The sixth edition of the three-day mega supply chain event is expected to be visited by over 10,000trade visitors representing high level decision-makers and buyers from across the globe.To make visitors understand the relevance of products suitable to their business, Millennium is offering demos of various products applicable for warehousing and supply chain management at their stall (12 A).

“With the advent of e-commerce industry in India, the need of warehousing and logistics infrastructures has grown manifold and we strive to address the huge demand for quality and efficient supply chain management needs from warehouses and logistics players by introducing the advanced technology to make their day-to-day operations organized, faster, easy and hassle-free.”

The Fair offers visitors a complete view of the entire process chain of the warehousing, transportation and logistics industry. Over 200 domestic and international exhibitors are presenting innovative products and services for trade visitors and entrepreneurs who will get an opportunity to exchange ideas and make new business contacts.

The exhibition is being organized by Reed Manch Exhibitions, a joint venture between Manch Communications of India and UK’s Reed Exhibitions.

Established in 2002, Millennium Soft-Tech (India) Pvt Ltd has been in the forefront of providing Point Of Sale (POS) technology products and solutions to Indian businesses through astute marketing strategy supported by huge partners’ network across India.

Courtesy –

Investors add Brexit clauses to British property deals before EU vote

Investors add Brexit clauses to British property deals before EU vote

Commercial property investors are writing clauses into contracts giving buyers the right to walk away from real estate deals if Britain votes to leave the European Union this month, as a way to unfreeze a sector stalled by uncertainty over Brexit.

Transactions in commercial property fell by 40 percent in the first quarter, according to the Bank of England, with many buyers and sellers waiting to see the outcome of the June 23 referendum in case an exit vote hurts property prices.

In one example from a commercial transaction seen by Reuters, a clause sets a deadline after the vote when the buyer would be permitted to terminate the contract if the referendum results in a decision to leave.

Sellers too are taking legal precautions, seeking language in contracts to ensure that Brexit will not be considered a “material adverse change” that would annul a deal.

Paul Firth, head of real estate at law firm Irwin Mitchell LLP, said a significant percent of the firm’s “bigger investment deals” with values ranging from 10 to 80 million pounds either included Brexit clauses, or purchasers had sought to negotiate that they be included.

He said the use of such clauses had increased in recent weeks as the referendum date draws closer.

“(Investors) fear that the value and return on investment properties may decline and that it may not be as good an investment if Britain withdraws from the EU,” he said.

Since commercial real estate deals are usually confidential, it was not possible to determine precisely how common such clauses are.

Read More….

Courtesy – ET Realty

Malaysian firms eye highway, housing projects in Maharashtra

Malaysian firms eye highway, housing projects in Maharashtra

A delegation of Malaysian construction companies on Thursday called on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and evinced interest in partnering with the state in the proposed infrastructure projects like Mumbai-Nagpur communication expressway and affordable housing schemes being planned in Maharashtra.

In the meeting held at Sahyadri guesthouse in Mumbai, the Malaysian company CIDB Holding’s chairman Dato Shree and representatives of several companies were present while Mumbai MP Poonam Mahajan, state officials Pravin Pardesi and Kaustubh Dhiwase also participated in the discussions.

Fadnavis told the delegation that the communication super expressway to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore has the potential to boost the state’s economic growth as it envisaged several growth centers on the route passing through 22 districts. The scope for investment is vast as the project was biggest of its kind in the country, he said.

Read More…

Courtesy – ET Realty

India invites German firms to invest in infrastructure sector

India invites German firms to invest in infrastructure sector

Seeking German investment in India’s infrastructure sector, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said the partnership between the two countries “should and will flourish” as he invited participation of its business community in India’s “urban renaissance”.

“Indo German partnership should and will flourish. You will be able to see for yourself the winds of change in India. We are very keen to develop the sectors where you are strong. We need your involvement,” Naidu said while addressing a conference on ‘100 Indian Smart Cities Conference’ here.

He said India is at the “threshold of rapid urbanization” and is among the “fastest urbanizing societies” of the world and is projected to be more urban than rural by 2050.

Read More…


Courtesy – ET Realty

HNI investors shift focus on commercial property for better returns

HNI investors shift focus on commercial property for better returns

India’s rich investors have switched to buying commercial property in place of housing over the last 15-18 months following a tapering down of property price appreciation in the residential real estate in top Indian cities.

Commercial property serves as a lucrative investment option with investors gaining from rental income as well as capital appreciation. Grade A commercial properties give 8-10% rental returns on the capital value depending upon interest rates. Investors have been buying properties ranging from 1,300 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft. Investors and buyers from destinations like Indore, Belgaum and Noida have been flocking to prohibitively priced office space in the financial capital of Mumbai, an unheard of phenomena till now, says Vipul Shah, MD of Mumbai-based Parinee Group.

“Investors are looking to pick up even under-construction properties unlike before when only ready properties were being acquired. We have been able to conclude four outright transactions at our 0.5 million sq ft commercial project at Andheri (suburb of Mumbai) in the last two months, which is a much better pace than usual,” said Shah.

Major residential markets in the country saw average residential property prices in the city and suburbs appreciate by only 3.3% in 2015 as against an average of 7% in 2014, a study by property consultancy JLL India revealed.

In the Delhi-National Capital Region, a big investor market, Bengaluru and Chennai have seen prices appreciating around 2% in the last quarter of 2015. The trend is similar in peninsular India too. Prestige Estates Projects has also seen more HNI investments in commercial property.

“We have sold 0.5 million sqft in the last three months to HNIs as they are looking to build annuity portfolio as returns are better than residential projects,” said Nanda Kumar OP, vice president and head of leasing at Prestige Constructions. In Bengaluru, micro markets like Whitefield, outer ring road and central business district has already reached its peak in terms of rental appreciation too, he said. “We will continue to see rental appreciating by around 7% annually.”

“In the last year or so, investors have been keen on good commercial spaces, especially where infrastructure and quality of the building are sorted,” says Aakash Ohri, executive director at builder DLF Home Developers, who sold around 600,000 sq ft of space in its new office building Two Horizon Center in the last one year for close to Rs 1,000 crore. Strong absorption across major cities in the country has seen rentals moving up in the last one year. According to data from property consultancy CBRE Asia, rentals in Gurgaon’s Cyber City area rose 13% while those in Bengaluru’s Whitefield and Electronic City rose 12%. Rentals in Hyderabad’s IT corridor and areas such as HITEC City, Madhapur and Gachibowli rose by 14-20% in the last one year. However, rentals have stagnated in most parts of Mumbai and Chennai.

Abhay Khemka of Gurgaon-based brokerage Khemka Investments and Properties says whatever investor interest is left in the real estate market today is only for commercial property. “They have no interest in residential today as they are already stuck with apartments. It is a lot easier to exit a commercial property, especially if it is leased out, while it is very difficult to exit a residential investment today,” said Khemka.

Builders too are scrambling to build more commercial space. House of Hiranandani is looking to foray into commercial real estate and firming up plans to increase its footprint in Bengaluru & Chennai. “We are looking at an inorganic expansion strategy to expand the commercial portfolio and is on the lookout for projects which have already kicked off but are stuck due to lack of funding or expertise,” said Surendra Hiranandani, CMD, House of Hiranandani.

Commercial real estate witnessed a turnaround in 2015 after being sluggish for over three years. Cushman & Wakefield predicts absorption is likely to gain momentum with current pre-commitment levels across eight cities seen at 11.80 msf in 2015, which would give a fillip to the trend of large deals in 2016 amidst frenzied consolidation activity in the market. Most of the pre-commitments are likely to be absorbed in 2016, with the some of them spilling over to 2017.

Courtesy ET – Realty

E-commerce firms second largest drivers of warehousing space: Study

E-commerce firms second largest drivers of warehousing space: Study

E-commerce companies have become the second largest consumers of warehouses last year after third party logistics, said a new study.

The report by US based property consultancy CBRE also states that 2 million sq. ft. of warehousing space was taken up by e-commerce firms in 2015.

“This is a significant jump as the share of the sector rose from a meager 2 per cent of the total warehousing demand in 2012, to around 22 per cent during 2015. On the same lines, office space demand from e-commerce firms witnessed a 170 per cent year-on-year growth-from 0.7 million sq. ft. in 2014 to 2 million sq. ft. in 2015,” CBRE said.

Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director of CBRE, South Asia said: “Investors have begun to show more interest as the growth story of the sector continues. The sector saw significant activity during 2015, mainly driven by existing e-commerce companies looking to ramp up operations, while new players entered the market. Along with e-tailing groups(companies or organizations), substantial funding also flowed into the e-commerce logistics segment, which registered investments of close to US$ 262 million during 2015.”

Courtesy – Business Standard

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