Qatar fund in talks to invest $200m in Indian property

Updated 23 December 2013

Qatar fund in talks to invest $200m in Indian property

MUMBAI: 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 with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
QIA is holding “conversations” with Kotak Realty Fund, run by Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., which would manage the investments on behalf of the fund, said the source, who asked not to be named because the deal has not been finalized.
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 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

House prices grew by 9 percent 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 Delhi-based 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.
“If you have a long-term perspective and you believe that the need for capital in a country is quite high, which it is, and the supply is limited right now because people are not investing, then this is the best time to invest,” he said.
In November, CPPIB said it would invest $200 million dollars 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 told Reuters at the time.
Also in July, Singapore’s GIC Pte Ltd., Temasek Holdings and Oman’s State General Reserve Fund committed to investing a combined $200 million in a real estate fund run by Indian mortgage lender HDFC Ltd.
The investments are a shot in the arm for India’s property developers, many of whom are burdened with debt that is expensive to service at steep interest rates.
Banks are also reluctant to lend because of fears of defaults, while private equity funds, which poured in billions of dollars at the height of the property market in 2007, have turned cautious after project delays impacted returns and exits.


BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

Updated 49 min 19 sec ago

BT warns UK that banning Huawei too fast could cause outages

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei
  • British PM in January granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network

LONDON: BT CEO Philip Jansen urged the British government on Monday not to move too fast to ban China’s Huawei from the 5G network, cautioning that there could be outages and even security issues if it did.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to decide this week whether to impose tougher restrictions on Huawei, after intense pressure from the United States to ban the Chinese telecoms behemoth from Western 5G networks.
Johnson in January defied President Donald Trump and granted Huawei a limited role in the 5G network, but the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus crisis and a row over Hong Kong has changed the mood in London.
“If you are to try not to have Huawei at all, ideally we would want seven years and we could probably do it in five,” Jansen told BBC radio.
Asked what the risks would be if telecoms operators were told to do it in less than five years, Jansen said: “We need to make sure that any change of direction does not lead to more risk in the short term.”
“If we get to a situation where things need to go very, very fast, then you are into a situation where potentially service for 24 million BT Group mobile customers is put into question — outages,” he said.
In what some have compared to the Cold War antagonism with the Soviet Union, the United States is worried that 5G dominance is a milestone toward Chinese technological supremacy that could define the geopolitics of the 21st century.
The United States says Huawei is an agent of the Chinese Communist State and cannot be trusted.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, has said the United States wants to frustrate its growth because no US company could offer the same range of technology at a competitive price.