Qatar's sovereign fund in talks to invest $200 million in Indian property

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is in talks with India's Kotak Realty Fund to invest around $200 million in residential property in the country.

Reports quoting sources close to the development said the Qatari fund is currently holding talks with the gas rich emirate to invest $200 million in residential property in India.

Kotak Realty Fund, which is run by Kotak Mahindra Bank, would manage the investments on behalf of the fund, the reports said, adding that the deal is yet to be finalised.

Kotak Realty Fund (KRF), one of India's first private equity funds with $811 million in assets under management, would also make a small investment, the source said.

Kotak Realty Fund currently provides investment management services to four funds that are domiciled in India and provide investment advisory services in relation to one offshore fund.

Global funds, including sovereign funds and private equity funds, are eyeing opportunities in India's real estate sector as property prices come down amidst a slump in economic growth.

House sales in major cities like Mumbai and Delhi have fallen by nearly 22 per cent in the quarter ended 30 September, while prices have increased by 9 per cent over the same period, data provided by Liases Foras showed.

QIA's investment comes after the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in July also appointed Kotak to invest $200 million in Indian real estate on its behalf.

Also in July, Singapore's GIC Pte Ltd, Temasek Holdings Oman's State General Reserve Fund committed to investing a combined $200 million in a real estate fund run by Indian mortgage lender HDFC Ltd.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) had last month said it would invest $200 million to buy leased, income-producing office buildings in a joint venture with Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which in turn would invest $50 million.

These investments come as a boon to property developers in India, most of whom are burdened with costly debt.