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Emaar bullish on Indian realty sector; eyes joint venture projects, new markets

Manvendra Jha

New Delhi, Oct 16 (PTI) Bullish on Indian realty market, Dubai-based Emaar Properties on Wednesday said it will continue to invest in the country's real estate space by developing its land bank and acquiring projects through joint ventures.

The company, which aims to be a big player in India, plans to foray into two major property markets -- Mumbai and Pune -- and is also in talks with potential joint venture partners.

Pursuing aggressive growth plans as it is close to completing all existing projects, Emaar is in the process of monetising non-core assets, including a hotel property in Jaipur.

'India is one of three important markets for us along with UAE and Egypt. We are here in India to stay and we will focus on growing the India business,' Emaar Properties CEO (International) Hadi Badri told PTI in an interview.

Emaar Properties is 'fully committed' to the Indian market which has huge investment and growth potential, he said, but did not divulge any investment figures.

'Next 20-30 years can be very attractive for India,' Badri said, adding that Emaar would play an important part in this growth process.

'We are committed to be one of the big players in the Indian real estate. We have a huge land bank which will be developed,' he said.

Highlighting that the company has sold over 90 per cent of its projects and handed over 80 per cent of units to customers, Badri said the remaining would be delivered over the next few months.

Emaar has worked hard to complete all pending projects post-demerger with its Indian joint venture partner, he said.

In 2005, Emaar Properties entered Indian real estate market in partnership with MGF group and invested Rs 8,500 crore through joint venture Emaar MGF Land Ltd. However, in April 2016, it decided to end this joint venture.

The demerger process is complete.

While ruling out any plans to have a joint venture at the entity level, Badri said there could be partnerships at the project level.

Asked how the company plans to develop its land bank, he said the company has lined up many project launches for next year.

It would continue to focus on mid-income and luxury segment and not enter affordable housing or slum redevelopment projects.

Emaar India may form joint venture with investment firms to develop commercial projects on its land bank, Badri said.

Further, the company is looking for projects in Mumbai and Pune through joint venture as well as joint development routes. It would explore acquiring

stressed projects provided those fit in with the company's overall growth strategy.

He also made it clear there are no plans to list Indian business on the stock exchanges. Emaar is listed in Dubai.

Indian real estate market is evolving and becoming transparent with new regulations like RERA (Real Estate Development and Regulation Act) which could lead to consolidation in the market and provide growth opportunities, he added.

'We are resolving all the issues. We do not want to fight with our customers. We will fulfil all our obligations and not shying away,' Badri said in response to a query about complaints from its home buyers.

Since setting up its business in 2005, Emaar India has developed 30 million sq ft of projects, including 25 million sq ft of residential projects. The latter comprises 20,000 dwelling units and 1,000 acres of plotted development, mainly in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region), Mohali, Jaipur and Indore.

Post-demerger, Emaar India has about 4,500 acres of land bank across the country, including the national capital.

In August, Emaar Properties appointed Ajay Munot as chief executive officer for its India business. PTI MJH RAM

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