Ask’s Indian fundraise suggests investor appetite return

Mumbai-based investment advisory and management firm ASK Group closes its first real estate investment fund on Rs340 Crore. The Economic Times suggests the closing is the first in India since the downturn.

ASK Group, the Mumbai-based financial consultancy, has closed on Rs 340 crore (€54.7 million; $75 million) for its first real estate investment fund in a sign of renewed investor confidence in the country.

2009 was a year of investor fatigue in India with many international fund managers failing to attract any capital for their India real estate focused vehicles.  ASK’s vehicle has been raised from domestic capital but, according to India’s The Economic Times, the closing was the first of its kind in the country for real estate since the global economic downturn.

The fund will invest predominantly in city centre residential developments in cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune and in partnership with domestic development managers. Ask expects to complete a first acquisition of Rs 50-70 crore within the month.

According to ASK, which runs ASK Investment Managers and ASK Wealth Advisors and typically advises and invests on behalf of high net worth families, the fund does not need to comply with foreign direct investment rules. This enables it to invest in development schemes of less than 50,000 square metres or 25 acres.

Amit Bhagat, ASK Group’s chief executive officer and managing partner told PERE in addition to the domestic real estate fund, the company plans to launch its first offshore vehicle in the second half of the year.