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Indian developer taps Mapletree for real estate property trusts

Indian developer taps Mapletree for real estate property trusts


Singapore: Indian property developer Embassy Group has roped in Singapore’s Mapletree Investments to help it launch the first property trust in Singapore based purely on assets in India, sources close to the deal said on 5 April.

The real estate investment trust, or REIT, would provide an opportunity for international investors to bet on India’s property market. Real estate values have soared as more global firms set up call centres, research facilities and IT plants in cities such as Bangalore.

“The REIT will be based on Indian business parks and offices that will be managed by a joint venture between Embassy and Mapletree," a source close to the transaction said.

UBS AG and Goldman Sachs have been appointed as advisors for the trust, which is expected to be listed before June.

Ascendas, an office and industrial parks landlord controlled by state-owned industrial landlord JTC Corp, has said that it is considering a Singapore listing of a REIT based on its Indian assets this year.

Bankers said that Ascendas has appointed Citibank, DBS Bank and JP Morgan for the deal.

Mapletree and Embassy are already working together to build logistics properties in India — a new area for Embassy.

Bangalore-based Embassy focuses on residential, retail and office property development. The unlisted firm has built three business parks and has nine retail and office buildings, where the multinational tenants include Hewlett-Packard <HPQ.N>, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft.

Mapletree Investments, a unit of state investor Temasek Holdings, has office, retail and logistics assets worth S$3 billion ($1.98 billion, Rs8,700 crore).

The company also has a 30% stake in Mapletree Logistics Trust, a property trust based on a portfolio of warehouses and container depots.

Mapletree Investments declined to comment when contacted.

Singapore, which has 15 listed property trusts with a market capitalisation of more than $16 billion, has the third-largest market in Asia-Pacific after Australia and Japan.

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