Qatar fund, Kotak in talks to invest $200 mn in real estate

Dec 24 2013, 15:43 IST
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SummaryQatar Investment Authority is in talks to invest $200 million in residential property in India.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the gas-rich Gulf emirate, is in talks to invest $200 million in residential property in India, a source said. QIA is holding “conversations” with Kotak Realty Fund, run by Kotak Mahindra Bank, which would manage the investments on behalf of the fund, said the source.

Kotak would also make a small investment and plans to focus on residential property developments in major cities across Asia’s third-largest economy for QIA, the source said.

Kotak declined to comment. QIA did not respond to emails or telephone calls.

Sovereign wealth funds and other long-term investors are eyeing opportunities in India’s real estate sector, betting that property prices are bottoming out after slumping this year on the back of the slowest economic growth in a decade.

House sales in major Indian cities, including Mumbai and Delhi, fell 22% in the quarter ended September 30. House prices grew by 9% over the same period compared with double digit increases in the year-ago quarter, according to property data firm Liases Foras.

Vikram Gandhi, founder of VSG Capital Advisers, which has been retained by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to seek investment opportunities in the country, said the timing to invest in Indian property was ideal.

In November, CPPIB said it would invest $200 million to buy leased, income-producing office buildings in a joint venture with Indian construction company, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which will invest $50 million.

QIA’s investment comes after the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in July also appointed Kotak to invest $200 million in Indian real estate on its behalf, sources said at the time.

Also in July, Singapore’s GIC, Temasek Holdings Oman’s State General Reserve Fund committed to investing a combined $200 million in a real estate fund run by Indian mortgage lender HDFC.

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