Hirco invests $ 198 mn in Mumbai project

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London, Oct 25: London-listed Indian property developer Hirco said on Thursday it had invested 96.6 million pounds ($198.1 million) in a 280-acre mixed-use township development project close to Mumbai, India.

The Panvel Residential township -- which comprises 18.3 million square feet of planned residential and retail space -- is located near the planned second Mumbai International Airport and is within driving distance of Mumbai's central business district.

Hirco said the township was designed to satisfy growing residential property demand from India's emerging middle-classes in the key Mumbai-Pune growth corridor.

It is expected to provide a mixture of flats, townhouses, villas, healthcare facilities, schools and other amenities needed to create a sustainable community, Hirco said.

The township occupies a site adjacent to the Panvel Commercial Township development in which Hirco invested in July.

The combined Panvel site was also recently designated as a Special Economic Zone -- a status which confers special tax privileges on investors and occupiers.

''This investment in Panvel Residential supports our strategy as India's largest developer of mixed-use townships for the increasingly affluent middle class in strategic growth locations,'' said Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevela, chief executive of Hirco.

The township was first identified as a possible investment opportunity at the time of Hirco's admission to London's junior stock exchange, AIM, in December 2006.

To date, Hirco has invested around 350.8 million pounds, representing 97 percent of the net funds raised at the time of its IPO. Shares were trading 4 percent down to 355 pence at 0839 GMT following announcement of the investment.


Reuters>

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