Blackstone, GIC to invest in India
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd and private equity firm Blackstone Group Lp have emerged as the two top global investors in India’s real estate sector after almost a decade of investing in the country. Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is fast moving into the big league.
GIC and Blackstone, which have different investment strategies and return expectations, have bought some of the best projects across real estate assets classes—residential, office space, hotels and shopping malls—since 2006.
New York-based Blackstone has invested about $2.7 billion in real estate projects in India across 19 transactions and manages the largest portfolio of office parks in India. GIC has invested around $2 billion in building a diversified portfolio.
DLF Ltd, said it is in exclusive talks with GIC, formerly known as Government of Singapore Investment Corp., to sell the 40% stake of its promoters in a rental unit. The stake sale is expected to raise about Rs12,000-13,000 crore. Both GIC and Blackstone were earlier shortlisted for the stake-sale transaction.
Once the GIC-DLF deal goes through, it will be GIC’s largest office investment in India and will put it in a formidable position, challenging Blackstone’s top slot.
Blackstone opened its real estate division in India in 2007 but started buying office assets only in 2011, when not many investors were interested in the prime rental asset class.
“Both GIC and Blackstone didn’t slow down investments even when the markets turned slow. As a sovereign, GIC has been investing quietly in a variety of asset classes and it is in no hurry. Blackstone has focused more on core, rental assets and followed a specific strategy to buy them,” said Shobhit Agarwal, managing director, capital markets, and international director at property consultant JLL India.