Indian real estate market enters London

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New Delhi, Aug 6: Having burnt his fingers in the Sub-Prime crisis of the United States and the low returns on real estate investments in Europe and other places, the global investor will soon get a taste in London of the Indian real estate market, which is swinging high on growth and retruns.

The venue for this will be the 'Invest India Tour', where Indian real estate developers will get an opportunity to showcase their wares at Excel in London. The three-day exhibition, beginning September 19, will bring under one roof 340 exhibitors from all over the globe.

The Indian exhibitors number 40, Mr Nayan Bavishi, Managing Director of the UK-based real estate firm Baron Group International, told a Press Conference here. This is the first time that the annual affair will see participation from India, a testimony of its growing importance in the global market place.

"The event is expected to provide a fillip to the Indian real estate market," Mr Bavishi said.

While foreigners are prohibited from investing individually in India's real estate, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted only in townships. However, NRIs--subject to certain restrictions--can buy and sell property in the country. This is applicable to both residential and commercial properties.

The Indian diaspora looks to investing in India for various reasons. Familiar among these are diversification of their portfolios, love for their country of origin and reasons of security.

The large diaspora in countries like the United Kingdom and America, who have grown in wealth in their adopted country, would assemble in London to explore opportunities of investing in India.

Besides, London would be a convenient point for Indians settled in other places like the Gulf Region to come and have a look at the Indian real estate market.

Surveys show that the most favoured investment by the NRIs' is bank deposits and the real estate.Despite India having opened up to the world, not much funds have poured into areas like manufacturing.

The Indian pavilion will be called 'Invest India Tour-London 2008 (IITL-2008),' which is part of the bigger exhibition, 'The Property Investor Show.' ''There has always been a huge demand for Indian properties among NRIs for self-use purposes or for family. But now it is being looked at as an investment hub,'' Mr Bavishi said.

He said many UK-based developers are looking forward to joint ventures with Indian developers owing to good margins available in the sector. Besides, many fund houses are exploring means to enter this market.

Mr Bavishi, however, said scepticism still prevails among foreign investors for doing business in the Indian market. Distrust still persists and foreigners complain of lack of professional services.

"This tour will also take active steps to refurbish the image of India,'' he said.

There will be an attempt to explain Indian laws pertaining to housing and real estate sector, he said.

''More than 60,000 footfalls is expected in these three days,'' Cento International Investments Nitesh Alagh said.

The Indian participation is being arranged by the UK-based Cento International Investment and E-18, the market division of Network 18.

This will be followed by 'Invest India Conclave', which will be attended by various fund houses, mutual funds and financial institutions, venture capitalists and high net-worth individuals looking at institutional investment opportunities in the Indian real estate.

At the 'Invest India Conclave', a business luncheon has been arranged with political personalities from the UK. Others who will take part in this event include eminent members of the local community, global real estate majors, and the UK Chambers of Commerce.


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