Singapore’s GIC in $247 million Indian property JV

04 September 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, India, Singapore   By Daniel Shane

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) will invest up to 15 billion rupees (US$247 million) into real estate markets in southern India via a joint venture with a local property developer.

The Southeast Asian city-state’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) said that the memorandum of understanding with Bangalore-based Brigade Group would see the two seek to acquire land for residential and mixed-use developments in cities with secular demand.

"As a long-term value investor, GIC is a believer in India's growth potential. We seek partners who share our philosophy and values and have a reputable track record in the markets in which they operate,” commented Lee Kok Sun, managing director and co-head, Asia, GIC Real Estate.

GIC has previously announced significant investment plans for India’s real estate market. In November last year, it said it would tie-up with Singaporean developer Ascendas to inject up to S$600 million into commercial projects in Indian cities including Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

In its most recent annual financial report, GIC said that investing in more illiquid asset classes including real estate and private equity had helped boost long-term returns and make its portfolio better diversified and less sensitive to equity market volatility, while also providing a hedge against inflation.

As of the end of the first quarter of this year, real estate investments accounted for 7% of GIC’s total portfolio.

Last month, GIC also invested an undisclosed sum in India’s largest ecommerce firm, Flipkart, as part of a US$1 billion round of fundraising by that company.

With an estimated US$320 billion in assets, GIC is estimated to be the world’s eighth largest SWF by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.