Monthly Archives: September 2008

DS Kulkarni To Invest Rs 30 Million

The board of directors of DS Kulkarni Developers at its meeting held on Sep. 27, 2008, has approved the investment in DSK Global up to Rs 30 million to make it a subsidiary.

The board has also approved the fixed deposit scheme of the company for the year 2008-2009.

DS Kulkarni Developers is a real estate developer. It was incorporated on Sept. 20, 1991. The company has developed real estate projects in and around Pune and Mumbai.

Shares of the company declined Rs 4.6, or 6.79%, to end at Rs 63. The total volume of shares traded was 8,020 at the BSE (Friday).

FII Stake Not Outside FDI Limit

The finance ministry has blocked a proposal from the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) to allow foreign institutional investors (FII) to invest over and above the sectoral caps on foreign investment. FII stake should not be taken into consideration while calculating FDI in sectors, for example telecom, which have a foreign investment cap, the department had suggested.
Several other departments also have reservations on the issue which is snowballing into a controversy, government sources said. Already, there are varying opinions over differences between FDI and portfolio investments, especially in a sector like real estate.
The proposal has huge implications for the telecom sector, stock exchanges, commodity exchanges, asset reconstruction companies and broadcasting, to name a few. In the telecom sector, overall FDI cap of 74% includes FDI, FII, and NRI stake, while in the asset reconstruction sector only FDI is permitted. In different segments of broadcasting, foreign investment limits include both FDI and FII.
The home, defence and external affairs ministries have reservations on allowing FII investment over and above FDI, government sources said. This could lead to a demand for hiking the foreign investment cap in sectors like telecom and stock exchanges, it is felt. It is learnt that national security advisor M K Narayanan also does not favour such a move. These ministries have demanded that the proposal should be shelved. The resistance has stalled the proposal from progressing further.

Golden Peacock Award To DLF

The largest Indian real estate developer DLF Ltd has received ‘Golden Peacock Award’ for its excellence in corporate governance. The Golden Peacock Global Award for Corporate Governance was instituted by the World Council for Corporate Governance in January 2001 to promote competitiveness among businesses to get better quality of corporate governance.
A DLF spokesperson said, “We are happy to receive the Golden Peacock Award for excellence in corporate governance as it validates DLF’s focus on following policies and processes which serve shareholders and stakeholders of the company in the best possible manner”.

Overbuilding Promises A Kick In The Gut For Realtors

Nipun Sahni, director and global head of commercial real estate at Merrill Lynch Capital, says the number of information technology parks and special economic zones in the 21-km Old Mahabalipuram Road — popularly known as OMR — in Chennai surpasses demand in the entire IT industry in India.
he said at a Ficci seminar, “It will be difficult for builders to raise finances for their other developments and in subsequent phases, projects will also be postponed”.
OMR, realty analysts say, is symptomatic of the overbuilding that has happened in far too many pockets.
Two other plum areas that are likely to face the same fate, they said, are Lower Parel in Mumbai and Noida in the National Capital Region, both of which are hotspots for A-grade office space. They predict high vacancy rates.
Lower Parel has a ready office space of 4.5 million square feet and will add a minimum 5 million square feet by 2009, taking the total commercial space to 9.5 million square feet.
Of this, DLF, India’s largest realtor, alone will add 3.8 million square feet through office space and a mall.
Indiabulls Real Estate, Peninsula Land and Orbit Corporation are also busy completing their projects in the locality.
To boot, top players such as DLF, Unitech, Emaar-MGF, Akruti City, Puravankara and others have expanded to states they were not present in, and have ended up in close proximity to each other, creating oversupply pockets.
What started as a building boom in 2007 across emerging markets such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Indore is a year later, a very different story thanks to the Reserve Bank of India’s rate hikes, the wealth-depletion effect of falling stock markets and economic headwinds.

Markets On Backfoot

US President George W Bush and his men know that if the $700-billion rescue plan falls through, US bank Wachovia and a few more institutions will become history over the weekend.

The market meltdown has spread to high-street commercial banks, with Washington Mutual (WaMu) going down in the biggest-ever bank failure.

Staring at nearly $19 billion worth of losses on bad mortgage, WaMu’s branch network was acquired by JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion. There are growing fears that absence of a bailout could badly hit other institutions like Wachovia and Morgan Stanley.

The 50-share Nifty closed at 3985.25 points, down 124.30 points, or 3%, over the previous close. Market watchers said the latest downtrend could spark off a vicious circle, as traders sell off their long positions out of inability to meet margin requirements, thus deepening the fall.

Rumours are that many promoters, especially in the real estate sector, are facing margin calls on funds borrowed against pledged shares.

While leading traders have scaled down their activity over the past couple of weeks, the continuing slide could force even patient investors to book whatever profits available on their long-term holdings, brokers said. So far, leading broking firms have only deferred their expansion plans, and stopped fresh recruitment.

But if the downtrend continues for some more time, these firms could start firing employees, said market watchers. Domestic institutions pumped in Rs 543.57 crore on Friday, as per provisional data on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The saving grace, so far, has been net inflows into mutual funds and unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), and the absence of large-scale redemptions. But that has been of little help in the face of sustained selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who have pulled out Rs 643 crore on Friday.

The total traded turnover on both exchanges fell to Rs 60,000 crore compared with the daily average turnover of around Rs 70,000 crore in the past couple of weeks. Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, Mahindra & Mahindra, ICICI Bank and Infosys Technologies were among the prominent losers, shedding 3-5%.

Mahindra Lifespaces Mulls Entering Affordable Housing Segment

Mahindra Group’s real estate arm Mahindra Lifespaces is likely to join the ‘affordable’ housing bandwagon in a year, aiming the middle-income group.

“We are looking at opportunities to enter into the affordable housing sector, but it is still at the discussion stage. It may take one year to concertise the plan,” Mahindra Lifespaces Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Pawan Malhotra declared.

Affordable housing is making waves in the realty sector due to high cost of property, dearer home loan and its availability, high inflation and the huge gap between demand and supply.

A mapping of the supply trend of housing from private developers done by Ernst and Young shows that 70%-80% of it caters only to the higher-income groups.

In contrast, the Planning Commission expects that the housing shortage in the country to go up to 26.53 million units over the next four years. Of the total housing shortage, economically weaker sections and low-income groups account for about 99% of the shortfall in India.

Thus, anticipating volumes to make up for lower margins, a number of recognized real estate players, like Puravankara and Omaxe Ltd, have already plunged into the new asset class of the real estate sector.

In addition, Matheran Realty, Indu Projects, Shriram Properties, Jain Heights and Structures, Ansal Properties and Shapoorji Pallonji among others are either entered or are in the wings to enter into the creation of affordable housing.

Professionals Prefer To Live In Gurgaon

The expansive skyscrapers and mounting infrastructure has made Gurgaon real estate one of the best places to invest. The commercial properties in Gurgaon have clutched the attention due to bang. The place is housing to diverse world class malls due to availability of ample spaces that is required for corporate industry and its connectivity to Delhi.
Commercial and residential real estate both are on its boom. Nowadays, a number of residential apartments are available that bring class and provide options that have completely changed the definition of Gurgaon real estate. Residential apartments, villas and town ships have made keeping in mind professional who wish to live away from the commotion of city life. On the other hand, commercial centers have made the city a commercial hub.

Akruti Looks For Bus Terminals And Warehouses

Real estate firm Akruti City has identified some alternative growth spots. It has formalised JVs with the Gujarat government and the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange of India (NCDEX) to redevelop public bus terminals and warehousing facilities, respectively.

While bus terminals will be converted into bus stations-cum-commercial and retail hubs, the company plans to set up 17 warehousing facilities for NCDEX across the country.

“Bus terminals are one of the ideal commercial and retail destinations,” said Akruti City MD Vimal Shah. “Compared to malls and other shopping centres, human mobility at bus terminals is comparatively high. Passengers would be offered more comfort.”

Many state governments and the Indian Railways have zeroed in on bus terminals and railway stations as ideal locations for development as the passenger traffic has been on the upswing.

Some state governments, including Maharashtra, have already started the redevelopment work for BEST terminals while the Railways has identified 22 stations to be converted into station-cum-malls and hotels through public-private participation.

In the first phase, Akruti City will redevelop 5-7 bus terminals in towns such as Baroda, Surat and Mehsana in Gujarat. Akruti, in turn, will get around 2-3 million square feet of area for commercial and retail development.

Currently, Akruti City has 107 million sq ft of developable land bank spread across Mumbai, Panvel, Pune and Baroda. Akruti, in association with TCG Realty, is developing a biotech park on 700 acres at Savli near Vadodara. Shares of Akruti City rose 3.64% to close at Rs 966.15 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

On Akruti’s JV with NCDEX, Mr Shah said, “Warehousing is one of the new growth areas we have identified. The JV with NCDEX envisages development of 17 warehousing facilities for the commodity exchange at various locations in the country. We will develop and manage these facilities for NCDEX.”

Government In A Fix Over Lehman Realty Assets

The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) and the Reserve Bank will shortly meet to evaluate the situation arising out of Lehman’s collapse, as the US giant has $500-million investment in Indian real estate projects.

Foreign investment norms for real estate do not allow repatriation of funds within three years of investment. The RBI-DIPP meeting will discuss a mechanism to deal with cases like Lehman, when foreign investors in real estate go bust. One of the key questions is what happens to the failed investor’s assets, which are bound by certain lock-in periods.

Lehman has its real estate assets spread across the country.

Tier III Cities Emerge As Next Promising Investment Option

With the property market tumbling in big cities like Bangalore, realtors are now shifting their focus to tier III towns. A total of 47,000 properties were registered in Shimoga during 2007-08 as against 33,000 in 2006-07. In Davangere, the corresponding numbers were 54,000 and 37,000, similarly with Gulbarga, Hassan, Tumkur, Bagalkot, Mandya and other tier-III towns. This is when property transactions have ebbed in Bangalore and Mysore. The tier-III towns have never had it this good with the market prices of land having increased by two to three times. Two years ago, one square feet of land in Vinobanagar in Shimoga used to cost Rs 250 to Rs 300. Now it is around Rs 1,000. In Bellary, a square feet of land in a decent locality now costs Rs 1,200 up from Rs 300 to Rs 400 two years ago, officials said. With such a hike in the prices, boom is likely to shift from cities to these towns.

Mumbai To Get Its First Rental Housing Project

Mumbai housing problem will ease to some extent in the coming year. The city will get its first rental housing project of 35,000 houses at Vasai’s Tiwri village. The project will be developed by Dhanashree Developers and is a part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) ambitious plans for building five lakh rental houses in the next five years. The pilot project spread over 50 acres will have residential units of 160 square feet, which will include a cooking space, bath and water closet. The MMRDA has specified that it would give these houses only to bonafide Maharashtrians who hold a domicile certificate from the state and have a monthly income of more than Rs 5,000 every month. The rents of these houses would range from Rs 800 to Rs 1000.

Sarovar Hotels And Resorts Plans To Add 33 Hotels

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts plans to add nearly one lakh rooms by 2012.
It plans to add 33 hotels to the existing 35 in the next four years. “We are a multi-brand hotel management company and given the growth potential in the mid-market hotel segment, our group will continue to focus on it,” said Ajay K. Bakaya, executive director of Sarovar Hotels & Resorts.
Sarovar has five hotel brands in the country — Sarovar Premier and Park Plaza in the five-star category, Sarovar Portico and Park Inn in the three and four-star segments, respectively, and Hometel in the economy segment.
Park Plaza and Park Inn are run under the master franchise of Carlson Hotels.
Sarovar recently opened its budget hotel Hometel in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It plans to open five such hotels in Pune, Chennai, Chandigarh, Chennai and at Baddi. The company aims to open at least 50 Hometels in the next five years.
Among the new properties in the pipeline, Sarovar will open Sarovar Premier and Park Inn in Siliguri.
The chain also plans to come up with hotels in Jaipur, Pune, Port Blair, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Raipur and Mohali.
Sources say the group is also venturing into apartment hotels. The first 135-room Park Inn and Suites is scheduled to open in Bangalore in April next year.
Sarovar recorded a turnover of Rs 300 crore in the last fiscal and is expected to post a growth of more than 30 per cent this year. It aims to boost its topline to touch Rs 400 crore this year.

Axa REIM Sets Up Asian Headquarters

Axa Real Estate Investment Managers (Axa REIM) has set up its Asian headquarters in Singapore.

About 18 months after making its strategic move into Asia, Axa REIM has already invested nearly 25% of the $2 billion committed by its clients in the region. The new operations in Singapore are expected to help further build Axa REIM’s presence and leverage in Asia.

Axa REIM, a wholly owned unit of Axa Investment Managers, manages around $63 billion in assets.

“Asia is becoming a strategic destination for the real-estate investors and we want to support our Axa Group and third-party client efforts in diversification and creation of value,” says Pierre Vaquier, CEO at Axa REIM.

Frank Khoo has been named global head of Asia at Axa REIM. Based in Singapore, he will assume his post in mid-September and will report directly to Vaquier. He will also be part of the Axa REIM executive committee.

In this new role, Khoo will coordinate the development of Axa REIM’s investment and asset management activities in the region.

He will manage the development of investment platforms in Japan and India and will set up a local presence in other parts of the region which are important to Axa REIM’s strategy.

He will also contribute to the launch of Asian investment funds to develop Axa REIM’s asset base in Asia.

With over 15 years in the investment industry, Khoo has extensive experience in private equity and real estate and a deep knowledge of all the Asian markets.

Indiabulls To Raise 500 Million US Dollars

Indiabulls Real Estate today said it will raise 500 million dollars (about Rs 2,231 crore) through issue of shares to Qualified Institutional Buyers.
The company would issue equity shares or fully convertible debentures, partly convertible debentures or optionally convertible bonds, among others to raise 500 million dollars, it said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The proposal was approved by the shareholders in a meeting.

Shares of the company closed at Rs 278.65, down by 3.7% on the BSE.

Real Estate Still Attracting Investors

Wealthy Indians are increasingly looking at land as a preferred investment avenue as volatile markets limit their options of asset classes.
About 48% of the high net worth individuals (HNIs), both in India and abroad, with investable assets ranging from 500,000 pounds to 30 million pounds (Rs 4 crore – Rs 240 crore), is looking to increase allocation to realty in the next 12 months, according to a report released by Barclays in association with the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Satya Narayan Bansal, chief executive, Barclays Wealth India, says, “This may be an indication of the confidence among investors who are looking at the current downtrend in the realty markets as an opportunity to make gains.”
Experts say these investments may go into real estate funds, stocks of companies that deal in property, as well as directly in land.
It’s not just in India that HNIs are buying. Allocation in property abroad is catching on in a big way. The UK and UAE are emerging as favourite destinations, which offer assured rentals and greater transparency.
Nipun Mehta, co-founder & CEO, Unitis Tower Wealth Advisors, says, “The trend of HNIs investing in land is more prominent in northern India than in the southern parts.
Initially, the buying was mostly in Tier I, where the property prices were perceived to be cheaper. Now it is spreading to Tier II cities also.” Property is being mostly bought in non-urban areas due to great potential for appreciation.

Big Bazaar Targeting Network Of 145 Stores By June 2009

Retail chain Big Bazaar plans to open 15 more stores by November end, some of them in new markets, at an investment of Rs 1,500-1,600 crore.

With this, Big Bazaar, a subsidiary of the Kishore Biyani-spearheaded Pantaloon Group, will have 112 stores pan-India by November, a top company official said.

Big Bazaar is targeting a network of 145 stores by June 2009.

“We have zeroed in on several new and existing markets for the 15 stores that we plan to open by end-November. The investment will be in the range of Rs 1,500-1,600 crore,” Big Bazaar’s CEO Rajan Malhotra said in Mumbai.

The stores would be set up in places such as Mysore, Pune, Cuttack, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Agra, Faridabad, Surat, Nashik, Mumbai, Delhi and Solapur, Malhotra said, adding that in some locations two stores would be opened.

The retail chain would be extending its footprint into new markets such as Mysore, Cuttack, Chandigarh, Faridabad and Solapur. “These are new markets for us. We have done our research and expect these stores to perform well,” Malhotra said.

Presently, there are 97 Big Bazaar stores with the 98th and 99th to be opened in Mysore and Pune. “Our 100th store will be opened in Cuttack market all the three stores are likely to be set up by mid-September,” he said.

Big Bazaar wanted to mark its century by opening its 100th store in the same location where it had launched its first Kolkata, “but there were some issues and hence, we moved ahead in search of other markets,” Malhotra said.

SC Order Paves Way For Redevelopment Of Mumbai

South Mumbai, the most expensive property market in the country, may change for ever. A Supreme Court order has paved the way for redevelopment of the entire city, the impact of which would be primarily felt in South Mumbai, dotted with old, crumbling mansions.

While the decision would free vertical growth in a city that’s clamouring for space, it would put an enormous strain on Mumbai’s already creaky infrastructure.

On Thursday, the apex court upheld the Maharashtra government’s development control rule 33(7) (or, DCR) that allowed builders to avail of three to seven times the Floor Space Index (FSI) while re-developing old, cess buildings in the city. The FSI fixes the extent to which an open space can be developed.

The SC order brings to an end a protracted legal battle over one of the most contentious issues in Mumbai.

Close to 19,642 old, cess buildings in South Mumbai will be available for redevelopment — a possibility that could be a windfall for many builders. It’s unclear whether the extra supply in the coming days would have any significant impact on property prices. Even though property markets in several cities have crashed, the extent of correction has been rather insignificant in Mumbai.

According to the amended rules, developers can get up to 2.5 or even higher FSI for re-development of chawls constructed before 1940. For chawls constructed after 1940, developers will get, as an incentive, 50% additional FSI of the utilised area for rehabilitating existing tenants.

The builder community believes that the SC decision may throw open large housing stock in the market and eventually soften property prices. “This was one of the biggest hurdle in Mumbai’s development. Now, with SC settling the issue once and for all, the city will have as much as 200 acres of land open for re-development in the next 10 years. It’s a very significant development,” said Orbit Corporation director (finance) Ram Yadav.

“Not only builders; even the residents of Mumbai’s crowded suburbs like Thakurdwar, Zaveri Bazaar, Chira Bazaar and Grant Road wanted these rules to be made effective. With the apex court upholding them, it will bring in considerable relief to lakhs of residents of old, dilapidated buildings,” said Vardhman Group managing director Rajesh Vardhan. The goup is active in the housing re-development space.

The present turn of events owes its origin to the state amendment of DCR 33(7) four years ago, which left redevelopment at the discretion of builders. While the need for redevelopment was widely felt, many objected to the way the state government went about changing the rules.

Several city-based activists feared that it would lead to indiscriminate development in the island city. Former Mumbai municipal commissioner JB D’Souza, along with Cyrus J Guzder and Shirish Patel, challenged the state’s decision in a public interest litigation before the Bombay High Court.

The petitioners said the amended rules can allow builders to undertake redevelopment of even strong and comparatively new buildings. “This is bound to put a massive strain on infrastructure like transport, water supply and sewerage,” they had argued, while pleading with the Bombay High Court for quashing the order that amended the DCR 33 (7).

The petitioners had sought the HC directive to set up a panel of experts for certifying redevelopment of only dilapidated and structurally-unsound structures.

The then Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Dalvir Bhandari, and Justice DY Chandrachud had not only upheld the petitioners’ contention but ordered an interim stay on all redevelopment projects falling under DCR. The high court also had ordered the formation of a structural committee comprising three engineers to review “weak” buildings and decide whether these need redevelopment. Thursday’s Supreme Court verdict will once again upturn all this.

Cement Companies Transform Product Mix

With increasing cement supplies to north India, companies dependent on this market are changing their product mix from portland pozzolana cement (PPC) to ordinary portland cement (OPC) to sustain growth. OPC is used for roads and infrastructure while PPC is used in real estate projects.

Shree Cement managing director HM Bangur, who runs the largest single-location integrated factory in northern India, confirmed the trend. Mr Bangur said: “The contribution of PPC to our total income will gradually come down as we have decided to increase 20% of our OPC production in the subsequent few quarters.” Shree’s share is the highest in the Delhi market, the most significant market in the national capital region region. The company’s 86% output is sold in north Indian markets while the remaining 14% is consumed in central India.

Binani Cement has shifted its focus too. The group MD Vinod Juneja said: “The demand for OPC has more or less doubled in the northern region due to construction works for Commonwealth games and the international airport. Binani Cement is a leading player in the northern region. It enjoys 13% market share in Rajasthan. It dispatches nearly 45% of its sales in this state.

Analysts said the data shows that the new trend is gathering momentum in the northern markets. OPC constituted 21.6% of total sales in the June quarter from 16% in the year-ago period. They said even after the rise in OPC production, there is still shortage of this product in the market. “With the real estate boom slowing down in the last few months, the demand for PPC has also gone down. So it makes more sense for the cement makers to concentrate more on OPC,” said an analyst.

Bombay Dyeing To Develop More Spare Land In Mumbai

The Rs 1,000-crore textiles-to-real estate major, Bombay Dyeing, will develop eight lakh square feet of property on its surplus land in Mumbai. The company will construct a high-rise building for commercial and residential use.

”We will commence construction of a high-rise tower in two months. The entire project will be sold off in the next 24 months,” chairman Nusli Wadia told shareholders at the company’s AGM.

Although it would be difficult to fix a value for the upcoming project, real estate market sources said that the company could earn a few thousand crores. However, the value will depend on the state of the real estate market, which has shown signs of weakness of late.

“It’s anyone’s guess where the market is headed for in the next two years,” said a real estate analyst on condition of anonymity. Bombay Dyeing had started selling its Spring Mills project at Dadar in 2006 at an introductory price of Rs 10,200 per square feet, which zoomed to Rs 25,000 per square feet in January 2008.

The company is redeveloping its Spring Mills property in Central Mumbai into a residential tower, 84% of which has been sold. The work at Dadar and Worli is also under way, with two commercial and IT/ITeS towers expected to be ready by 2009-10. “This is 45% ready,” Mr Wadia said. “Instead of our earlier plans to lease out part of the property, we are now looking selling,” he added.

Bombay Dyeing, which suffered a Rs 48-crore loss for the quarter ended June 2008, is likely to take a hit in the second quarter too. “We expect a further loss due to production of polyester stable fibre, which started in October 2008. The second quarter is also expected to be the same (loss-incurring). We see positive results in the third quarter,” Mr Wadia said.

The company’s stock closed at Rs 564.6, up 4.91% in a buoyant BSE. The company, which recently entered Dubai, plans to invest in other overseas textiles retail market.

Eighty Percent Of The Total Constructed Area For Financial Services In Mumbai

MUMBAI: India’s hottest property market, Mumbai, could see some shakeup in the commercial realty space. In a significant development, the Mahrashtra government has decided to allow all upcoming IT parks and IT specific buildings in the city to utilise 80% of the total constructed area for financial services, besides IT and IT enabled services. At present only 30% of the total constructed area can be given to financial services.
In a notification issued last week, the state government said in order to develop Mumbai as an international financial hub and to generate additional employment, it has been decided that all such building which are eligible for additional FSI of 100%, can now utilise 80% of the total constructed area for financial services, apart from IT and ITES.
The government also considered the increasing demand of investors in the financial services sector before changing the IT-financial services ratio, the notification said.
The government’s move is expected to increase supply of commercial space in Mumbai and correct property rentals. It may be noted that a lack of supply has pushed Mumbai’s commercial property prices to $400 per sq ft, a rate close to the ones prevailing in London and New York.
Currently, more than 100 IT specific building are coming up in Mumbai and its suburbs. Besides, three to four IT SEZs have also been proposed in Mumbai. The state government has also extended the new amendment in the policy to other areas of financial services such as corporate finance, asset and fund management, broking, NBFC, research advisory tax and audit, business and management consultancy, transactions services, treasury operations risk management and credit services.
According to international property consultant DTZ’s latest report, with over 15 million sq ft office space expected to be completed in 2008, the demand from banking and financial services and ITES and other sectors could play a major role in determining the future growth of the commercial property market in Mumbai.
“This change in regulation is extremely positive, and will accelerate the expected commercial space market correction. Previously, only domestic companies could take advantage, now, we will see many MNCs also safely occupying this type of buildings,” said Pawan Swamy, MD (Markets) Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj said. IT-specific buildings in Mumbai, for instance, have seen a significant upgrade in inquiries as result of this changed regulation.
Previously, there was a lack of enthusiasm about the potential of IT-specific buildings, since non-IT occupiers would not qualify for them. This impacted developers overall interest in launching such projects. However, there seems to be some confusion about the new proposal. Announced in 2003, the state’s IT policy is understood to be undergoing a major review after five years.
“The state government is currently working on new initiatives to be included in the said policy. The policy in its new avatar will come into force from January 2009,” a top official from the concerned ministry told. Under the circumstances, it’s unclear when the proposed decision about the use of developed space would come into force. The policy promises many tax sops, including 100% exemption on stamp duty, for the IT industry.

Investors From China and India Take More Risks

Investors in rising markets such as China and India have a much greater desire for risky investments than their counterparts in developed markets, new research has shown.
Wealthy investors in developing nations are more likely to increase the level of risk to their portfolio, with 43% of those in the United Arab Emirates, which contains Dubai, opting to increase their exposure to risky investments.
In China and India the proportions were 41% and 40% respectively, whereas only 29% of investors in the UK would do so.
Nearly half of investors in developed markets are retreating into cash because of market volatility.
The report, published by Barclays Wealth and the Economist Intelligence Unit, polled 2,300 high net wealth individuals, uncovering a divide in the way investors are responding to the credit crunch.
Property remains an attractive investment for half of all investors in emerging markets, despite the current falls in values. By contrast, only a third of investors in developed markets are intending to raise their property investments.
Kevin Lecocq, chief investment officer at Barclays Wealth said: “The market volatility is causing investors to have a wide divergence of reactions and attitude.”