Saturday, 31 December 2016

HC asks Unitech to open special account, finish project

HC on Friday said the money collected from buyers for project completion has to be deposited in an escrow account and only 10% of the corpus can be used to refund payment to those who want to opt out.

NEW DELHI: In a move that may help in handing over delayed residential projects, the Delhi high court has asked Unitech and its homebuyers to work out a formula under which the developer uses 90% of the funds collected from them to construct a project, if a majority of buyers votes in favour of completion.

HC on Friday said the money collected from buyers for project completion has to be deposited in an escrow account and only 10% of the corpus can be used to refund payment to those who want to opt out.

The court also asked the re lator to pay twice the penalty provided for in the agreement with buyers in case a project is delayed by over two years, and 1.5 times if the delay is less than two years. All projects have to be completed in twothree years, the court ruled.

Realtors said the ruling will also impact other delayed projects. Nearly half the projects in NCR are running behind schedule and buyers are losing patience, prompting several of them to seek refunds, while others are pushing for expeditious execution.

However, the court ruled against the liquidation of Unitech in spite of the fact that the builder is short of funds. " An order of liquidation of the company at this stage would not serve the interest of any stakeholder, including those homebuyers who have got decree in their favour."

The court noted that homebuyers, who obtain a decree, would have to stand in the queue of unsecured creditors for seeking execution of decree as their priority and rights to se cure execution as unsecured creditors would stand much below workers, statutory creditors or the secure creditors who have stronger claims on the company . Considering the impact of liquidation and the feasibility of the homebuyers getting possession of flats as promised by the developer, the court said, "It would be in the interest of homebuyers to work out a scheme through which the project is completed."

Unable to refund money , Unitech had recently offered to allot plots to some buyers who wanted to exit one of its projects, citing delay.

While several buyers have petitioned various courts, the HC has said all proceedings should be kept pending, including those filed in future.

Under the scheme worked out by the court, Unitech will open an escrow accounts for each of housing projects, where all the money collected from existing home buyers or proceeds from fresh sales would be deposited. A representative of the buyers will be one of the signatories of the account and funds will be used for only constructing of the project.

A designated refund account will be set up for each project in which 10% of the proceeds from the customers will be transferred. The refund will be made over a period of 12 months from the date of approval of the scheme.

The scheme of arrangement will be monitored by registrar of the court. A meeting of the buyers of each projects will be convened by the company under the chairmanship of an appointed lawyer.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

File plaints against real estate frauds, police urge victims

The economic offences wing of Coimbatore city police has requested the public to come forward to file complaints against real estate frauds

COIMBATORE: The economic offences wing of Coimbatore city police has requested the public to come forward to file complaints against real estate frauds.

The city police have recently arrested M Venkatesh, managing director of Star Land Associates at Kavundampalayam, who had collected 1.50 lakh each from more than 52 people by promising them a home but never delivering them any apartment.

"Several fake real estate companies continue to cheat people by promising homes at very cheap rates. This particular case, in which more than 70 residents from Kavundampalayam, Periyanaickenpalayam and Karamadai were duped of several crores, was reported last October. "They were promised 148 plots at Pilichi village near Karamadai under the name 'Kuberipura Nagar'. The case was registered with the district crime branch and transferred to us only this month. We have so far received 25 complaints but we expect more people to come forward to ensure we get all details before we chargesheet the case," said a police officer attached to the economic offences wing .

The real estate owner, Venkatesh, was arrested and is now out on bail, added the police officer. "He had given advertisements in local television channels and newspapers, promising land to those who paid 1.50 lakh in instalments. Many paid 2lakh as well. Only after people paid up, did they realise the land did not belong to Venkatesh," said the officer.

A few realized they had been cheated only when he refused to register the land in their name.

Last October, the residents had approached the district collector and subsequently, the district crime branch registered the case. Lakshmanan, one of the victims, immediately approached the owners and demanded his money. They had promised that they would return it in three instalments but in vain.

Meanwhile, residents came to know that the owners of Star Land Associates began expanding their business, cheating people in Chettipalayam and Madampatti as well. "We petitioned the collector and also registered a case after which the police arrested the owners," said one of the residents.

"So far, 52 depositors have come forward and we have registered their complaints. Close to 90.58lakh needs to be recovered," said police inspector, R Muruganantham.

He added that many such real estate companies were mushrooming in the city and warned public against getting cheated.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Builders splurge on sample flats to woo high networth buyers amid slump

With increasing competition and piling inventories, particularly in the luxury segment, some builders are spending as much as Rs25 crore on a sample flat

Sales of the luxury houses have been declining over the last few years, according to Liases Foras, a real estate advisory firm. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Mumbai: How does one sell a Rs.10 crore apartment in a depressed market for up-market realty? The answer some builders have found is to first spend as much as Rs.25 crore on building a sample apartment, complete with the inner bells and whistles that a likely owner of such a home is likely to have.
Creating sample flats to lure customers both in the mid-and high-end segment has been one of the age-old marketing strategies by developers.
However, with increasing competition and piling inventories particularly in the luxury segment, developers are now willing to throw every penny to entice potential home buyers in showcasing what they are offering to the customers.
According to Liases Foras, a real estate advisory firm, sales of the luxury houses have been declining over the last few years.
In its latest report released on 15 August, luxury homes which cost above Rs.2 crore dropped by 10% in the June quarter while the overall home sales in India’s top eight cities grew 9% during the same period.
Real estate firms such Omkar Realtors & Developers, Lodha Group, Oberoi Realty Ltd and Rustomjee Developers are splurging on creating sample flats in an effort to attract high networth individuals and ultra-rich buyers including Bollywood stars for its luxury flats. These developers are spending between Rs.4 crore to Rs.25 crore on building the show flats, sourcing decorative items from abroad and hiring international designers and architects for the purpose. The normal spend on building sample flats for a premium home was around just Rs.70- Rs.80 lakh four-five years ago,
This is over and above the other marketing tactics like offering incentives by developers to woo customers. Common gifts to customers include cars, gold coins, free parking spot or even international flight tickets but few developers in the recent past have gone beyond rolling out freebies to woo potential buyers.
For instance, earlier this year, Mumbai-based DB Realty offered its clients a helicopter tour of its luxury residential project DB Crown at Prabhadevi to provide an aerial view of the construction site. Others like Piramal Realty organized flower shows at the project site of its first residential project in Thane end of last year to help gain popularity of the project.
“There is an aspirational value attached for customers of such high-end and luxury homes. Enhancement in product and visual appeal is very important in the current stressed market and developers would continuously look for ways to cut through the clutter. Hence unlike lower priced homes where it is easier to sell, builders would increase their effort in creating sample flats especially to showcase the opulence,” Pankaj Kapoor, chief executive officer (CEO), Liases Foras.
Other realty brokers say that sample flat is one of the essential tools used by builders currently to boost sales and confidence among customers and fix the lack of trust with the builder community.
For instance, Mumbai-based Omkar Realtors & Developers has spent around Rs.25 crore only on creating the 8,000 sq.ft. show flat for its uber-luxury project ‘1973’ at Worli in South Mumbai. London-based design company Hirsch Bendner Associates has been hired to design the sample flat. Customised kitchen from Germany-based firm Alno has been used for the sample apartment.
There’s more in store. Collectables including artifacts and artworks are sourced from across 50 countries just for the sample flat. Swarovski artworks, paintings worth around Rs.8-9 lakh by renowned artists like Kalpana Shah and Jagdish Chandra have been bought to decorate the walls of the show apartment. Furnishings and upholstery have been imported from Spain, Italy and the UK, said Amar Tendulkar, president (design), Omkar Realtors & Developers.
“Through the sample flats, we are trying to cater to different categories of people right from movie stars to corporate leaders who understand and have taste for luxury. So what we are doing is how we do make this show apartment appeal to all of them,” he said.
Mumbai-based Oberoi Realty, country’s second largest real estate firm, is also gearing up to open its much awaited show flat for its luxury project 360 West to the buyers this month. The company has spent as much as Rs.8 crore on building sample flats for the project. The Investment accounts 15-20% of the cost of a single flat in the project. Apartments in the project are sold above Rs.45 crore.
“It is imperative to do a show apartment or sample flats mainly to show the transparency and communicating the world that this is the potential of the product that we are selling,” said Vikas Oberoi, chairman and managing director, Oberoi Realty Ltd.
According to brokers and consultants, developers spend around Rs.1-Rs.4 crore to build a typical show flat of a luxury apartment in south Mumbai. “When people want to see something tangible or when builders want to convince the buyers, making a sample flat is an effective tool to boost sales. Sample flats are also used to fix the gap that people don’t buy until they can’t see it,” said Prakash G. Rohiira, a real estate agent who sells luxury apartments in south Mumbai.
For Lodha’s World Towers, the upcoming residential project, the sample flat is not a makeshift one. The company, which has tied up with Giorgio Armani as an interior designer for the project, uses an actual 7,200 sq.ft .four-bedroom apartment designed by Italian designer’s team to showcase to its customers. The apartment has a sundeck, master bathroom with an outdoor Jacuzzi and a home theatre lounge done in handcrafted gold leaf finish.
According to Samujjwal Gosh, deputy chief executive officer (Pune) and executive vice-president (marketing), Lodha Group, the concept of show flats have evolved over the last 10 years and has become an essential part while marketing the residential projects as it helps aid in their buying decision.
“Real estate in India, especially in Mumbai has been transforming from a commodity sale based on price (some 4-5 years ago) to an experiential, high involvement purchase… Customers are looking for the best deal in the best product and this prompts them to get into all aspects of pre, during and post sales,” Ghosh said.
Prasoon Bhat, a financial analyst which has bought a 3BHK flat for Rs.12.5 crore at Omkar’s 1973, said sample flats help in aiding the buying decision as it gives a better idea of what a buyer can expect of the flat. However, the track record of the developer is the most important criteria when looking out to buy a flat, he added.
“Normally, when we see the floor plan, we cannot make out what we can expect. We can’t think abstract. A sample flat gives a fair idea how it will shape up. When buyers can visualize the apartment, they tend to get convince with the product,” Bhat said.

Friday, 23 December 2016

CREDAI NCR encourages builders to adopt green building norms

The need for inclusion of features like ramps and Braille in modern apartments is increasingly felt by citizens. Home buyers also express a need for making the high-rises age sustainable.

NOIDA: In a bid to uphold the model building bye-laws of 2016, Credai NCR has started encouraging builders to include the best practices while designing their projects; especially the ones related to the provisions for creating a barrier-free environment for the differently-abled and the elderly.

"We encourage all builders to adapt the green building norms; especially the ones pertaining to the inclusion of the differently-abled. The green certification needs a set of conditions to be met. Adapting structures to suit the needs of the differently-abled is one such norm," Manoj Gaur, president of Credai NCR, told TOI.

The need for inclusion of features like ramps and Braille in modern apartments is increasingly felt by citizens. Home buyers also express a need for making the high-rises age sustainable.

Real estate expert Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) on Monday shared a set of practices to influence builders across the country to include the model building bye-laws of 2016.

Few of the points highlighted by JLL includes the provision of parking on the ground floor, motorised wheelchairs for ease with ramps, hand rails, easy signage for the visually impaired, elevators with hand rails, easily accessible switches, special toilets, faster lift door opening time, adequate sitting area for the elderly, evacuation route and refuge provisions.

Building bye-laws are legal tools used to regulate architectural design and construction factors of buildings to achieve orderly development. They are essentially mandatory, and are meant to protect buildings against earthquakes, fire, noise, structural failures and other hazards.

Piyush Gandhi, National Director, Project & Development Services, JLL India, illustrates, "Do the current construction norms require real estate developers to make specific provisions for the differently-abled, disabled and senior citizens? They do — but in many areas of the Indian real estate 
industry, sufficient implementation lags behind the on-paper regulations.

The Model Building Bye-Laws 2016 (Chapter 8), IS Code 4963, CPWD guidelines give a detailed design and plan to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently-abled and elderly. In fact, they have a dedicated chapter on design provisions to be incorporated in any building which modern builders can use while designing their projects.

"The future of construction and building lies in sustainability. Builders automatically get the benefit of increased floor area ratio (FAR) when they adhere to green norms. While most builders already need to meet over 50% norms to gain the environment clearance, we now encourage them to introduce a couple of more differentiators to be completely green certified by special agencies," Gaur added.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Mumbai civic body okays 24 big building projects along city’s coast

The reason: Mahim coastline and Marine Drive (Backbay) have been officially redefined as “bay areas”.

MUMBAI: The floodgates have opened up for construction near the city's coastline with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) approving 24 projects near the shoreline around Girgaum Chowpatty, Prabhadevi, Mahim and Shivaji Park over the past one year.

The reason: Mahim coastline and Marine Drive (Backbay) have been officially redefined as "bay areas". A 2011 CRZ amendment by the Union environment ministry said construction activity can be restricted to only 100 metres from a bay instead of 500 metres.

The Mahim shoreline and the entire Backbay area, extending from 
Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade to Girgaum Chowpatty, have been classified as bay based on a report by the National Hydrographic Institute in Dehradun. The reduction, criticised by environmentalists and activists, was however, upheld by the Supreme Court.

The new definition of bay means developers can now build much more with higher floor space index (
FSI). The BMC's development plan department has so far sanctioned seven redevelopment projects in south Mumbai and 17 projects in Mahim and Dadar.

Among the bigger projects now out of CRZ is the Nowroz Building plot on Hughes Road near Girgaum Chowpatty being redeveloped by Arvindam Developers. The century-old 
residential building was purchased by Pune-based developer Avinash Bhosale for Rs 150 crore five years ago. A luxury skyscraper in partnership with global glamour brand, Versace, is coming up here.

On the same Hughes Road stretch, two redevelopment projects of 
Rohan Lifescapes (Pathare Prabhu building and Ajinkya Mansion) are out of CRZ and cleared by the municipal corporation. Builder Haresh Mehta of Rohan Lifescapes told TOI he has another five projects in south Mumbai which benefit because of the bay definition. Near Gamdevi temple, Devtaru Homes LLP redeveloping Kapol Nivas has procured preliminary permission for construction after the plot was removed from CRZ. Yogesh Bhavan (Mesacon Triumph Developers) at Hughes Road and other property on the same road redeveloped by Landmark Shelter too received clearance.

Early this year, the state coastal management authority, MCZMA, cleared the project by builder Earth Graphic on the ground that the site is beyond the 100m CRZ setback line from Back Bay. The dilapidated tenanted property is on Jagannath Sunkersett Road in Girgaum. The MCZMA had also sought the opinion of the state advocate general, who said the project site was beyond hundred meters of the high tide line.

In July 2014, TOI was the first to report on how the state coastal authority had redefined the Mahim coast as a bay. The developer of a Prabhadevi plot became the first big beneficiary as the bay definition immediately increased the development potential of its plot manifold.

The Prabhadevi plot near the sea is the 5.5 acre Hindoostan Mills, jointly developed by Hubtown and Wadhwa Group. They had announced two 55-storeyed luxury towers, making it the city's first mega building project kissing the sea.

After Mahim, it is now builders in south Mumbai who are benefiting from this relaxation in the CRZ norms.

But concerned activists said civic infrastructure will be futher burdened. "The issue here is not only the definition of the bay or the distance from the high tide line, but whether these areas have the infrastructure. Will such indiscriminate addition of built space affect the lives of the existing residents adversely? Unless we have satisfactory answers to these questions, the bonanza is likely to be counter-productive," said housing activist and expert Chandrashekhar Prabhu.

Environmentalist Debi Goenka said the 2011 amendment has resulted in a situation where the builder lobby has successfully been able to circumvent the CRZ along the entire west coast of Maharashtra. "The state government should have asked the environment ministry to rectify this mistake," he said.

Goenka added, "The project sites are in some of the most congested parts of the city that has poor infrastructure. A huge new project with very high FSI will add to traffic problems and further aggravate air and noise pollution levels, and deprive local residents of their water supply."

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Birla group company Hindalco's Novelis unit to raise up to $1.1 billion via US bond sale

The base size of the issue is $550 million with an option to retain oversubscriptions. The seven-year bonds will be easily tradable.

MUMBAI: Days after Grasim & Aditya Birla Nuvo announced a $9-billion merger plan, Birla group company Hindalco's Novelis unit will launch a bond sale in the US to raise as much as $1.1 billion to refinance debt.

Morgan Stanley leads an investment banking group that includes Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche and 
HSBC, said people with knowledge of the matter. The money will go toward refinancing bonds that mature in December 2017.

The base size of the issue is $550 million with an option to retain oversubscriptions. The seven-year bonds will come under Rule 144A of US security regulations that make them easily tradable. The aluminium maker is looking to take advantage of demand for Indian bond in global market.

Demand for debt instruments of Indian companies has gone up after the global bond market was roiled by Brexit and amid a climate of zero interest rates as central banks look to bolster faltering economies.

A Birla spokesperson said, "In line with group policy, we do not comment on market stories." There was no response to emails sent to US-based Novelis at noon on Sunday. Investment banks could not be immediately reached. If the company doesn't raise the full amount through dollar-denominated bonds, it may mop up the rest through external commercial borrowings or offshore loans. Novelis and Hindalco's Canadian arm are already in talks with some large global banks, which are likely to extend credit lines, said people cited above.

Indian borrowers are increasingly tapping the dollar bond market after Britons voted to exit the 
European Union, an event that sent bonds reeling. Three-fourths of global bonds yield now less than 2%, leaving investors with few avenues to put their money in. Global investors are factoring in zero interest rates from European Central Bank and Bank of Japan for a few more years and US Federal Reserve is likely to postpone the next rate increase to 2017, increasing lure of Indian bonds.

Hyderabad-based Greenko Group raised $500 million by selling bonds to overseas investors last week. In 2010, Novelis raised a little over a billion dollars via bonds denominated in that currency. Those seven-year, 8.375% bonds are now rated at speculative Ba2.

China's economic slowdown had seen aluminium prices slump, hitting their lowest since 2009 in November last year. Excess supply from China hit Indian producers badly but Novelis has managed to turn around its operations. "Europe and China currently utilise 50% of Novelis' capacity," Religare Institutional Research said in a May 28 note.

"Going forward, the company expects to increase utilisation levels by innovating and customising the product portfolio... By FY17-end, existing US capacity is expected to be utilised fully. The new auto line in North America is scheduled to be ramped up by FY17."

Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Hindalco Industries on Friday reported a near fivefold jump in standalone net profit for the quarter ended 30 June, helped by benign input costs and rise in aluminium production. In the June quarter, net profit rose to Rs 294.07 crore from Rs 61.10 crore in the year ago. Revenue missed estimates, falling 11.4% to Rs 7,597.3 crore due to a sharp decline in realisations.

Novelis, which contributes close to half of the Hindalco's consolidated revenue, reported an adjusted net profit of $33 million compared with $24 million a year ago.

Hindalco Industries 
shares jumped nearly 6% about a week ago, hitting a 52-week high of Rs 152.15 last Monday after Novelis added to investor confidence, reporting a 38% rise in net profit in the June quarter. In the past year, Hindalco stock has surged more than 52% beating the Sensex.

Friday, 16 December 2016

City may miss Smart City berth: Chandrakant Khaire

The civic amenities in the city are not at par with the facilities in other cities that are in race for the coveted opportunity which may hurt its ranking.

AURANGABAD: Expressing appresions over the city bagging Union governments ambitious smart city scheme, MP Chandrakant Khaire on Saturday said the city is likely to miss the opportunity because of poor civic amenities.
I do not think we could make the cut even in the second attempt. The civic amenities in the city are not at par with the facilities in other cities that are in race for the coveted opportunity which may hurt its ranking, he told TOI on the side lines of the district development coordinating and monitoring committee (DISHA) meeting.
Highlighting civic issues, Khaire said that the pathetic condition of roads, increased number of potholes and aggravated water scarcity are likely to leave a negative impact on the ranking. "We do not have a proper water distribution system, which has led to scarcity. The condition of roads, streetlights and other civic amenities are eqally appaling," he said adding that the city roads are so bad that the high court had to take cognisance of it.
Khaire also alleged that the municipal authorities did not take local MLAs and other political leaders into confidence while preparing the smart city project. "These representatives have been working for the well-being of the city since the past few decades and thus have rich experience in this regard. They could have contributed significantly to the project but the municipal authorities avoided discussing the issue with them," he said.
Interestingly, the civic authorities have invited suggestions and opinions from more than 1.25 lakh people.
The civic body recently submitted a 92-page document to the central government highlighting its vision to change the face of the city. The civic body has highlighted that it would use GPS equipped garbage collection vehicles and dumpsters for effective handling of waste.
However, the municipal authorities are quite optimistic about the project saying that they have prepared a focused and error-free proposal that has brightened the changes of the city getting berth in the second list of ten cities likely to be announced by August 15.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG hit by malware: HEI

The breach follows similar attacks at Hyatt Hotels Corp and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc in recent months.

NEW YORK: A data breach at 20 U.S. hotels operated by HEI Hotels & Resorts for Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental may have divulged payment card data from tens of thousands of food, drink and other transactions, HEI said on Sunday.
The breach follows similar attacks at Hyatt Hotels Corp and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc in recent months.
Norwalk, Connecticut-based HEI, which is privately held, said malware designed to collect card data was found on HEI's systems.
The malware was discovered in early to mid-June on payment systems used at restaurants, bars, spas, lobby shops and other facilities at the properties, Chris Daly, a spokesman for HEI, said in emails and phone calls.
The number of customers affected is difficult to calculate because they might have used their cards multiple times, Daly said. About 8,000 transactions occurred during the affected period at the Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara hotel in California, and about 12,800 at the IHG Intercontinental in Tampa, Florida, Daly said.
The malware affected 12 Starwood hotels, six Marriott International Inc properties, one Hyatt hotel and one InterContinental Hotels Group PLC hotel. It was active from March 1, 2015 to June 21, 2016, with 14 of the hotels affected after Dec. 2, 2015, HEI said on its website on Friday.
Marriott and IHG declined to comment. Representatives from the other hotel groups did not respond to requests for comment.
HEI said outside experts investigated the breach and determined that hackers might have stolen customer names, account numbers, payment card expiration dates and verification codes. The hackers did not appear to have gained PIN codes, since those are not collected by its system, it added.
The company has informed federal authorities and has installed a new payment processing system that is separate from other parts of its computer network.
Among the properties affected were Starwood's Westin hotels in Minneapolis; Pasadena, California; Philadelphia; Snowmass, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Also affected were Starwood properties in Arlington, Virginia; Manchester Village, Vermont; San Francisco; Miami; and Nashville, Tennessee.
The Marriott properties affected were in Boca Raton, Florida; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago; San Diego, California; and Minneapolis.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

UK keen on participating in 'smart city' project

"So meeting the challenges of urabanisation, getting India ready for the bigger picture, the preparedness and responses is absolutely crucial. So bringing expertise is one aspect to that," she said at function.

NEW DELHI: The UK on Friday expressed its keeness to actively participate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious project to develop smart cities across India.
"Prime Minister Modi is deeply ambitious and we want him to be successful when it comes to the delivery of smart cities. And we know we have the assistance and expertise to really add value," UK International Development Secretary Priti Patel said here.
"So meeting the challenges of urabanisation, getting India ready for the bigger picture, the preparedness and responses is absolutely crucial. So bringing expertise is one aspect to that," she said at function.
Earlier in the day, she met with Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and announced the UK will share its skills and expertise to drive forward India's vision for new smart cities and boost opportunities for new businesses.
Stressing that the UK and India share unique relationship, Patel said the referendum in the UK has "now redefined" the relationship and "elevated it in terms of our place in the world.
"...development opportunities between the UK and India and also India and the rest of the world are absolutely enormous," she said terming India as a "growing and thriving economic power house".
She said counter terrorism and national security are the areas where "we stand shoulder to shoulder with India".
During her three-day India visit, she will call on Modi and several ministers. She will also meet the UK and Indian business, industry and investment representatives. She will call on the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in Bhopal.
She also called on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss ways in which the two governments can strengthen links between key economic institutions and centers of excellence in the two countries.
The two ministers also discussed the transformed UK-India development partnership which was underlined by Modi's UK visit late last year.
An official statement said the UK support announced by Patel will come from the UK's Department for International Development and includes technical support for 'Smart Cities Mission' which will see British expertise helping plan, design and build smart cities.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Bengaluru civic body uploads fresh maps of encroachments

The update comes a day af ter the civic body uploaded joint survey maps and list of encroachments, but without survey numbers. Old sketches appeared ambiguous.

BENGALURU: Faced with criticism that its ongoing drive against storm water drain encroachments was mired in secrecy and based on outdated maps, the BBMP on Sunday uploaded the list of illegal structures on its website, with zone and ward details. The civic body has reques ted citizens to verify their properties and voluntarily remove encroachments.

The update comes a day af ter the civic body uploaded joint survey maps and list of encroachments, but without survey numbers. Old sketches appeared ambiguous.

However, Sunday's update gives details of wards and areas where encroachments are located. But the encroachments continue to be identified vis-a-vis survey numbers that prevailed decades ago.Bengaluru, however, has moved on as land patches identified by their survey numbers and spread over acres, have fragmented. They are now plots that bear municipal numbers and are spread over a few hundred square feet. Experts said identifying plots that are en croachments from a map based on old sur vey numbers is near impossible.

As on Sunday , the website -http: -showcased drain encroachments with maps on six zones: East, West, South, RR Nagar, Yelahanka and Dasarahalli.The wards and areas where encroachments have been identified, are provided. While some maps are updated, some encroachment details are displayed through old village maps. It is another matter, though, that markings on many of the maps are indecipherable.

However, the list of constituencies does not include Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli, where flooding happened due to encroach ments and a demolition drive was carried out last week. Offi cials with the BBMP said encroachment details pertaining to the two constituencies can be accessed through the web link of the Survey Settlement and Land Records department provided in the BBMP website.

The Saturday list on the BBMP website had given taluk-wise details of encroachments, and violations were identified in 30 villages of Bengaluru East, 18 in Bengaluru North and 35 in North Additional.

N Harish, advocate and member of B.Pac, said even details of the maps uploaded on Sunday are ambiguous as survey documents and maps in the new link don't have sub-numbers under a particular survey number. "In the absence of sub-numbers, it is difficult to establish the link of a property , which has only municipal numbers. It is difficult to identify the exact extent of encroachments and residents are left to accept whatever the authorities at the ground level dictate," he added.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

NAREDCO organizes 13th National convention, exhibition in Delhi

Analysts believe that they have the potential to invest in real estate projects to evade risk in a sluggish market and undertake some hefty transactions.

NEW DELHI: At a time when the Indian banks are adopting a cautious approach for funding real estate projects, Private Equity (PE) funds and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) seems to have come to the rescue of the Indian real estate market.
Analysts believe that they have the potential to invest in real estate projects to evade risk in a sluggish market and undertake some hefty transactions.
REIT or Real Estate Investment Trust is one another instrument that is being streamlined by the Government to finance Real Estate sector. REITs allows anyone to invest in portfolios of large-scale properties the same way an individual may invest in other industries - through the purchase of stock.
In the same way, shareholders benefit by owning stocks in other corporations, the stockholders of a REIT earn a share of the income produced through real estate investment - without actually having to go out and buy or finance property.
As per the VCC Edge, the financial research platform of VC Circle that tracks investments, "During first nine months of 2015, PE funds invested about USD 2.4 billion in the real estate sector, across 53 transactions, surpassing the full-year investments of USD 2.1 billion in 2014 across 80 deals."
The numbers are encouraging for this year too. This year too saw the PE investment in real estate rose to 40 percent year on year in the quarter of March 2016 at Rs. 3840 crore of which 48 percent or Rs. 1870 crore went into residential segment.
Not only PE funds but NBFCs have also been aggressively lending to the real estate sector. However, analysts believe that NBFCs prefer to invest in residential projects rather than commercial units mainly because of lower risk and quick returns.
"It is all the more important now to manage finance in real estate sector than ever before. After the RERA bill has been passed, large amount of the sales proceeds will have to be kept in escrow account. This will create a huge burden on raising capital for purchase of land and repayment of loans if taken against it. Getting external finance is the need of the day for real estate to flourish," said Chairman National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), Rajeev Talwar.
"The main reasons for interest of NBFCs and PEs in lending to the real estate sector are that they are expecting higher rates of interest, hard assets as collateral and hoping to trap sales proceeds in escrow accounts," said President National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), Parveen Jain.
Throwing further light and to bring out the importance of on the role of NBFCs and PEs in Indian real estate sector and various other aspects, NAREDCO under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA), Government of India is organizing the 13th National Convention and Exhibition on August 19-20, 2016 at Hotel Taj Palace, Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi.
The convention aims to offer a platform to present distinctions between conceptions and strategies from eminent Banking Institutions, Private Equity players, Real Estate and Developer fraternity and also promises participation of personalities from the diverse fields such as Politicians, Bureaucrats, Contractors, and Material Suppliers across the Nation.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

JLL chief bats for pension, insurance funds in realty

Asia's third largest economy is poised to list InvITs and REITs on the local bourses in a bid to attract more global capital and improve liquidity for the two sectors.

BENGALURU: India should consider allowing domestic pension and insurance money into rent-yielding commercial real estate and infrastructure, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) president and CEO Colin Dyer said. This could provide a fillip to FDI in real estate, which is on course to more than double this year, the global head of US-based real estate services and investment management firm said.

Asia's third largest economy is poised to list infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) on the local bourses in a bid to attract more global capital and improve liquidity for the two sectors.

Some of the foreign pension and insurance assets managers have wondered why their domestic counterparts are restricted from buying into instruments that behave like mutual funds, but are inflation-indexed.

JLL chief said he could understand the reasons for not allowing domestic pension or insurance money until now. There was a certain lack of regulations which made these investments risky. But it's probably time to revisit this along with all the new regulations, improving standards and professionalism, Dyer told TOI during a visit to the country last week.

"We welcome any move to change the government laws (to facilitate investments of Indian pension and insurance money). Typically, international pension funds and insurers invest about 5-10% of their total assets in income generating real estate portfolios," he added.

Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) is in the final preparations to list some income generating assets as the country's first InvIT to raise $750 million. Similarly, Blackstone Group, the most prolific foreign investor in rent-yielding space market, has been studying the possibility of listing an Indian REIT.

Indian government is seriously considering a move to relax rules permitting pension and insurance money to be invested in InvITs and REITs, sources familiar with the matter said recently.

FDI into Indian real estate stood at $3 billion last year but the number is expected to touch $7 billion this calendar since the overall investor confidence has improved due to the efforts undertaken by the Narendra Modi government, Dyer said.

This includes having a code for Goods and Services Tax (GST) finally; the government's commitment to tackle corruption and the introduction of stringent laws such as the RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Act) Bill which will help operate the sector more professionally.
Moreover, the quality of products built has improved over the years which is up to international standards, that adds to the attractiveness, he explained.

JLL remains optimistic about the tenanted office space sector which continues to generate stable yields for investors. "With the regulations being cleared out and India having a potential for listing REITs worth about $18 billion, we expect to significant attraction levels," Dyer said. "We plan to bring our international funds to invest in Indian commercial real estate in the near future," he said.

The residential real estate will remain slow for another three to four quarters at least due to the drop in sales velocity, after which an uptick is expected, he added.

Friday, 2 December 2016

PIL: Smart City unconstitutional?

A division bench of Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice DK Paliwal while accepting an interlocutory application directed the government to file a reply to the application within two weeks.

INDORE : Questions on the constitutionality of the smart city project were raised before the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court on Friday, when the PIL challenging the smart city plan was heard.

A division bench of Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice DK Paliwal while accepting an interlocutory application directed the government to file a reply to the application within two weeks.

Abhinav Dhanotkar, counsel for petitioner Tapan Bhattacharya told TOI that the application sought answers on whether the smart city plan was in accordance with Article 77 of the constitution or not.

Article 77 of the constitution states that any scheme or project announced by the cabinet or minister of urban development or even the prime minister cannot be the decision of the central government unless authenticated by an officer authorized by Business rules of Government of India.

"The identity of the person who authenticated the cabinet decision is also not clear and neither is the date when the decision was authenticated," Dhanotkar submitted.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Ten Richest Real Estate Tycoons

Acknowledged by Forbes, these people are not just rich; they are Richie-Rich rich. We bring to you the richest real estate tycoons around the world.

Lee Shau-kee
Born on January 29, 1928 in Shunde, Guangdong, China, Lee Shau-kee is a Hong Kong-based real estate tycoon and majority owner of Henderson Land Development, a property conglomerate with interests in properties, hotels, restaurants and internet services. Bloomberg Billionaires Index listed him as the 19th richest person in the world in 2012. According to Forbes, his personal wealth is estimated to be $24.8 billion He is also affectionately known as Uncle Four.

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Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin, a 1954b born Chinese businessman and philanthropist, serves as the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, which is also China's largest real estate company, as well as the world's largest movie theater operator. He owns 20% of the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid. After sixteen years in the People's Liberation Army, Wang started working as the office administrator for the Xigang District in the city of Dalian. The Economist called him "a man of Napoleonic ambition.

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Donald L Bren

Born May 11, 1932, he is an American businessman who is chairman of the Irvine Company, a US real estate investment company, which he wholly owns. Bren built his first house in Newport Beach with a $10,000 loan, in 1958. He began his business career in 1958 when he founded the Bren Company, which built homes in Orange County, California. Forbes, in its 2015 edition of, "The 400 Richest Americans", ranked Bren as the wealthiest real estate developer in the US and 30th "Richest American" with an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion. In 2008, BusinessWeek named Bren one of the top ten philanthropists in the nation, with his contributions to various causes such as education, conservation and research among other areas exceeding $1 billion.

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Cheng Yu-Tung

Cheng Yu-tung owns Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, a conglomerate which operates the Sheraton Marina Hotel and controls the publicly listed New World group. Among their businesses, Chow Tai Fook is Asias largest jewellery retailer with New World having large interests in real estate. According to Forbes, his net worth is estimated to be around $14.4 billion.

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David & Simon Reuben

Starting their careers by heavily investing in the Russian metals market, the Reubens became the worlds third largest producer of aluminium. When the Russian business environment turned sour, they sold all Russian assets and have since focussed most of their business activities around the UK property market. They recently completed the purchase of Metro International from Goldman Sachs in 2014 and a data centre business, GlobalSwitch, buoyed by demand for cloud computing space. Fobes estimates their net worth at $13.7 billion.

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Joseph Lau

With the net worth of around $10.9 billion Joseph Lau is a Hong Kong real estate investor who owns a 61% stake in Chinese Estate Holdings, one of Hong Kongs largest real estate investors. He is a wine lover. It is estimated that Lau owns more than 10,000 bottles of red wine as well as a Boeing 787 private jet, and a multi-million art collection. According to the Sunday Times, Lau owns one of the world's fine least 10,000 bottles, and is an avid art collector. In May 2007, Lau was revealed to be among the first seven purchasers of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet for private use.

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Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor is not only a landowner, businessman and former Territorial Army Officer, but is also the 6th Duke of Westminster, with a net worth significantly greater than Queen Elizabeth. Heading private property group, Grosvenor Group, he owns hundreds of thousands of acres across the UK, alone owning 190 acres in one of Londons most expensive neighbourhoods, Belgravia, adjacent to Buckingham Palace. His net worth is estimated to be around $12.6 billion.

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Pan Sutong

Pan Sutong made the wealth of his fortune from his stake in Goldin Financial Holdings, which has interests in real estate, wine and factoring. Beginning his career trading with electronic brands such as Panasonic, Sutong went on to found Matsunichi Digital Holdings Limited, which is now known as real estate giant Goldin Properties Holdings Limited. An avid wine lover, Sutong has purchased a number of wineries across France and in the famous Napa Valley region. His net worth is around $8.6 billion.

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Stephen M Ross

Stephen M Ross is an American real estate developer, philanthropist and sports team owner. According to Forbes magazine, Ross has a net worth of $6.5 billion. Ross began his career as a tax attorney at Coopers & Lybrand in Detroit. In 1968, he moved to New York City and accepted a position as an assistant vice president in the real estate subsidiary of Laird Inc.

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Hui Ka Yan

With an estimated riches of $6.2 billion, he is a Chinese businessman and the founder and chairman of Evergrande Group, a Chinese real estate development company. Xu Jiayin was born in a rural family in Jutaigang Village in China.

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