New Delhi, Sep 20: To cater to the insatiable demand of the upwardly mobile middle class for housing, GE Money and an Australian mortgage major Wizard, today announced a 200 million dollar joint venture for providing home loans to customers all over the country.
The new company to be christened, 'Wizard Home Loan' will offer home loan at a competitive 9.99 per cent to consumers and aims to set up over 250 branches across the country by 2011.
The broad benchmark rate of lending by the new company will be 9.99 per cent with the spokespersons of the company describing this as highly competitive in a market which is growing rapidly but is characterised by cut-throat competition.
''High interest rates is a challenge for us. So, we have done a competitive pricing so that consumers should be back on control on interest rates,'' Wizard India Chief Executive Officer Egisto Franceschi told reporters here.
The company aims to be among the top five lenders in next 5-10 years, he added.
''The mortgage penetration in India is very high as well as there is a huge change in overall demography. People are going for their own houses,'' Chairman Wizard Mark Bouris said adding that Indian economy is rising which has compelled them to foray into the segment.
Mr Franceschi further said India is a much better economy where we do have products that are considered sub-prime in the US.
The company has a current loan-book size of two billion dollars.
''GE has a long standing presence in India and I am confident of our deep understanding of the market would go a long way in enabling 'Wizard Home loans' to position itself as a preferred home loan provider in the country,'' GE India Chief Executive Officer T P Chopra said.
The JV will be directly leveraging the experience and presence of GE Money in India to develop the home loan market, he added.
Wizard strategy is based on a wealth-sharing model, owner operator branches, a competitive pricing policy and a customer-focused transparent mortgage solutions.
India's home loans segment has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 30 per cent since 2001. The current shortage of housing stands at 30 million units across the country.