Building India's Real Estate

India's Emaar MGF Land is planning to launch a series of REITs in the next few years as it aims to construct a whopping 500 million square feet of commercial real estate--including office, residential and retail.

The company - a joint venture between Emaar Properties, Dubai's biggest developer, Emaar Properties and India's MGF Development - plans to build more than 500m sq ft of business, residential and retail complexes in the next seven to 10 years, most of which will be spun off as Reits.

Shravan Gupta, executive vice-chairman and managing director of Delhi-based Emaar MGF, said: "Within the next 18-24 months we should be in a position to do our first Reit and after that we will do them regularly."

Indian companies such as Emaar MGF, which plans to raise an expected $1.5bn this year in what will be one of the country's biggest initial public offerings, are increasingly keen to pursue Reits to release capital for future development.

Although India does not permit Reits, the country's property companies are eyeing Singapore and the Gulf as potential locations to list either full-blown Reits, which must conform to strict guidelines to enable their sale to retail investors, or other variations, such as realty trusts.

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