Amit Bhagat, CEO & MD, ASK Property Investment Advisors
Amit Bhagat CEO & MD, ASK Property Investment Advisors says, that the current realty market is not conducive for Investors to invest, while it is favourable for end-users. Bhagat joined ASK from ICICI Home Finance where he was the Head of Property Services business, which consisted of Home Search (buying / selling of residential units) in the Retail segment, Commercial and Retail agency (leasing) business on the corporate side and advisory / investment banking in the structured finance business. In the advisory segment, he was responsible for placement of private equity in real estate in various project specific investments across India. Mr. Amit has played an instrumental role in developing a PAN India network for transactions and advisory business focusing on 20 major cities.
Edited excerpts of his interview with Sandeep Pattnaik of Gharabari.com
Q.1. What is the prospect of the real estate sector ahead, according to you?
Ans: Real estate sector is facing a tough time due to excess leveraging and high interest rate. This will take 18-24 months for renewing and revival, based on economic growth of the country, liquidity and interest rate cut.
Q.2. How the Realty funds are performing keeping in view the beleaguered scenario of the sector at present? Which are your best rated Realty funds in terms of ROI so far?
Ans: Can’t comment
Q.3. You have a full-fledged Investment Advisory team and expertise property investment advisors in your group. What is your suggestion to the investors to put money into physical properties market besides investing in mutual funds?
Ans: The current market condition presents an opportunity for an end user and not to investors.
Q.4. How the recent notifications in the Union Budget 2015 relating to REITs will affect the commercial property market in the Country according to you?
Ans: It was a very balanced budget focused on infrastructure spends to kick-start growth cycle. Focus of the budget was on ease of doing business, simplification, transparent practices and structural reforms. It also focused on curbing black money parked outside and domestically too. This in turn will help commercial property to generate more sales.
Also, Structural reforms like Debt Management agency, Bankruptcy laws, Monetary policy committee should have long term benefits for debt market, discourage unscrupulous promoters and follow calibrated approach for monetary policy adjustments.
Q.5. ASK group is currently raising $200 million offshore fund to invest in Indian Real estate projects. Which are your target cities and why?
Ans: Top five cities (Mumbai, NCR, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru) since they are creating knowledge economy jobs in the country. The scales of developers in these cities are also commensurate with our target.