HDFC property fund invests in Indian township

An Indian real estate fund allowing foreign investors to tap into India’s burgeoning township developments has acquired a 50 percent stake in a major project outside Mumbai.

The Indian housing lender Housing Development and Finance Corporation, which closed its first Indian property fund for international investors last year, has picked up a nearly 50 percent stake in an housing project being developed by ACME Group. Financial details were not disclosed.

The project, ACME Ozone, is in Thane, outside Mumbai. It is a 1.1 million square foot township that will comprise 760 residential apartments and a small commercial space. It is billing itself as an “eco-friendly” sustainable project. It is expected to be completed in four years. 

Mumbai-based Housing Development Finance Corporation closed the HDFC International Real Estate Fund in April of 2007 on $750 million (€482 million) from 28 foreign investors.  The vehicle is targeting returns of 20 percent to 25 percent. The fund is not focused on a specific region or sector, and can invest in residential, commercial, hospitality, education and healthcare projects, as well as in development companies. The close-ended fund has a nine-year lifespan.

The fund recently picked up a 45 percent stake for Rs 250 crore ($58 million) in Mumbai-based developer Lodha group's realty project in Hyderabad. It also recently invested Rs 40 crore ($9.3 million) in Sterling Developers' multi-purpose property development project in Bangalore.