ASK Group to invest upto Rs 1,500 cr in real estate projects

Financial services firm ASK Group plans to step up its equity investment in Indian real estate market to upto Rs 1,500 crore during this year as it sees good demand in mid-segment housing projects.

The firm had invested a little over Rs 600 crore during last year through three equity deals in real estate projects. “In 2016, we will deploy Rs 1,000-1,500 crore as equity investment in Indian real estate,” ASK Property Investment Advisors CEO and MD Amit Bhagat told PTI.

In its largest investment so far, ASK Group had last month invested Rs 365 crore in a housing project of Rajesh Lifespaces at Vikhroli in Mumbai. Before that, the company had invested Rs 125 crore with ATS Group in Noida project and Rs 112 crore in Purvankara’s Bengaluru project. It also exited from three investments while garnering an impressive multiple.

“We focus on equity investment in mid-income housing projects with ticket price of apartments in Rs 50-75 lakh bracket. We expect the market to remain buoyant in this segment,” Bhagat said. ASK Group has invested about Rs 2,500 crore in Indian real estate during last five years.

The company’s strategy is to invest in mid-income housing projects in five cities – NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai. Bhagat said the company is in the process to raise about Rs 1,500 crore from domestic and offshore investors. The fund raising exercise would be completed in next one month.

Asked about investment scenario in Indian real estate, Bhagat said a lot of deep-pocket institutional investors and large funds would start looking at Indian real estate because of counter cyclical opportunity.

ASK Group, through its real estate business, manages funds up to Rs 3,300 crore and has committed over Rs 2,000 crore in 19 projects. ASK Property Investment Advisors is a venture of the ASK Group, set up to manage and advise real estate dedicated funds.