Ask Group raises $115m for second RE fund

Through its real estate platform, Ask Property Investment Advisors, the Mumbai-based financial services group has brought its second real estate fund to the market with initial capital of $115 million.

Ask Property Investment Advisors has brought its second real estate fund to the market with initial capital of $115 million.

The capital for the Ask Real Estate Special Opportunities Fund was raised from high net worth individuals and family offices.

In an announcement by the firm, part of Mumbai-based financial services business Ask Group, it said it planned to raise $200 million for investment in Indian real estate developments. The fund will be used to invest in assets across India’s ‘top seven cities’ and via partnerships with local development firms.

Amit Bhagat, chief executive officer and managing director at Ask Property Investment Advisors said: “The fund is focused on asset management and risk management as its core differentiators.”

The fund follows Ask’s debut real estate investment vehicle, Ask Real Estate Special Opportunities Portfolio, which closed at the end of 2009 with $75 million shortly after the firm developed a specialist private equity real estate, asset management and developer finance and mortgage and transaction advisory business. That fund was committed in six transactions.

Bhagat said of the follow-on effort: “We will continue the strategy of investing in city and suburban centric, smaller gestation projects which can be launched in 12 months from the date of investment and can be completed in 3- 4 years from the date of launch.”

Sunil Rohokale, executive director of ASK Investment Holdings, said: “Counter cyclical opportunity provided due to liquidity crunch and high interest rate presents a risk diversification and expansion opportunity for developers and hence a win-win for developers and private equity to reap the benefit of the ensuing growth opportunities and increasing urbanisation.”