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CapitaLand in ventures for Indian malls worth $2b

CAPITALAND is expanding its presence in India’s fast-growing retail sector by investing in 15 malls worth more than $2.1 billion.

The malls, spread over 14 cities, are to be spun off into a property trust after their completion – between next year and 2011.

CapitaLand will achieve this by partnering two Indian real estate players in separate joint ventures, Singapore’s largest property developer said yesterday.

One is a 50:50 partnership with Bangalore-based Prestige Group for seven malls in south India.

The second is with Advance India Projects, a Delhi-based developer. CapitaLand will hold more than 60 per cent in the venture to develop and manage eight malls in north India.

Together, the 15 malls will yield 11.1 million sq ft of lettable area.

CapitaLand’s portion of the investment will come up to about $1 billion. This will be funded through its US$600 million (S$865.2 million) CapitaRetail India Development Fund, in which CapitaLand has a 45 per cent stake, the group said.

This follows its 2006 investment of US$75 million in an Indian mall property fund set up by retailer Pantaloon.

The fund now owns six malls across India.

Separately, CapitaLand’s retail trust yesterday said its distribution per unit (DPU) for the fourth quarter last year was 30 per cent higher than forecasts and a 14 per cent increase from the year before.

CapitaMall Trust’s distributable income for the quarter ended Dec 31 was $39.1 million, while DPU was 2.34 cents. This brings its full-year DPU to 13.34 cents, from 11.69 cents the previous year.

Full-year net property income rose 8.8 per cent to $220.9 million.

Net asset value per unit was $2.21 as at Dec 31, from $1.87 the previous year.

Unitholders can expect to receive their fourth-quarter distribution on Feb 28.


Source: The Straits Times 23 Jan 08

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