ASK Group to invest Rs 500 cr in residential projects
Jan 18, 2014
Source : The Times of India


BANGALORE: ASK Property Investment Advisors (ASK PIA), part of the diversified financial service company ASK Group, will invest upwards of Rs 500 crore across multiple mid-market residential projects in India by the end of this calendar, said the group's chief executive.

ASK PIA has just raised $50 million (approximately Rs 360 crore) of its $200 million offshore fund in Singapore, part of which will be deployed in FDI compliant residential developments in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Banga-lore and Delhi-NCR. Three European and Asian institutional investors participated in ASK's maiden India focused real estate fund.

The company also plans to utilize the remaining capital of Rs 400 crore from its second domestic fund of Rs 1,000 crore, which was raised three years ago. Till date ASKPIA has invested Rs 950 crore across 12 residential developments in India. The company has also made exits of about Rs 145 crore; returning 50% of the capital from its first domestic fund in 2010, back to investors.

"We are looking to invest in three to four developments at the project level and we are in advanced stage of discussions to invest in a project located in Delhi," said Sunil Rohokale, MD and CEO, ASK Group. Currently, the group manages assets in excess of $1 billion in equity PMS (portfolio management services), wealth advisory and real estate PMS.

On the group's offshore fund, Rohokale said, "Though the current fund raising environment is challenging, I'm hopeful of raising the remaining capital of $150 million by the end of this calendar." He added that the company would be tapping large institutions, pension and endowment funds, and family offices based in the US, Europe and West Asia.

Post the 2008 meltdown, global fund houses have skirted the volatile residential real estate market, choosing instead to focus on stable rent yielding commercial assets, which gives them annual yields of 10% to 12%. In the same period though, domestic funds such as Ask Property, Indiareit Fund Advisors, and ICICI Prudential have been active investors in the residential market.

Last week, Indiareit Fund Advisors, the real estate private equity arm of Piramal Enterprises, announced the closure of its Rs 1,000 crore fund Domestic Scheme V.


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