A BOOMING Information Technology Sector

IT-BPO INDUSTRY CROSSES $76 BILLION REVENUE IN FY11: NASSCOM
Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Buoyed by steady recovery in demand for technology services, the Indian IT-BPO sector is estimated to have grown 19 per cent in 2010-11 to USD 76 billion in revenues, software industry body Nasscom today said.

“Pent-up demand for IT-BPO services and return of discretionary spending in the market were the key drivers for the industry performance,” Nasscom President Som Mittal told reporters here.

Exports continued to be the mainstay of the industry with revenue of USD 59 billion, growing at 18.7 per cent. Domestic market, on the other hand, grew 16 per cent, to aggregate Rs 78,700 crore (about USD 17 billion).

INDIA’S SOFTWARE EXPORTS SEEN UP 16-18 PCT IN FY12
Reuters

India’s software and services exports are seen rising 16-18 percent in the year to March 2012, an industry body said on Wednesday, as demand for outsourcing services by Western clients is expected to remain strong.

The National Association of Software & Services Cos (NASSCOM) forecast export revenue of $68 billion to $70 billion for India’s showpiece outsourcing sector in fiscal 2012.

India’s IT sector, whose clients include General Electric and Citigroup, would see export revenue rise 18.7 percent to $59 billion in fiscal 2011, NASSCOM said.

It had estimated export revenue of $56-$57 billion last February.

Real Estate News

GLOBAL OFFICE MKT RECOVERS IN 2010; RENTALS GROW BY 1 PERCENT
New Delhi
Business Standard

Global office market recovered in the last year from the negative growth witnessed in 2009 with rentals rising by 1 percent, mainly on the back of strong demand for office space in the Asia Pacific Regions, property consultant Cushman and Wakefield said in a report.

REAL ESTATE INDEX UP BY 5%
Indian Realty News

Shares of real estate developers were trading higher with the real estate index up nearly 5 percent on bargain buying after falling sharply over the last one week, three dealers said. Funds had cut down exposure to the sector after the Indian central bank increased interest rates, said an analyst with a local brokerage. Last week, India’s central bank raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point — its seventh rate increase in less than a year — to clamp down on resurgent inflation.

At 2.39 p.m., the BSE realty index was up 3.99 percent, outperforming the benchmark index which was up 1.02 percent. Shares of DLF , Unitech, Housing Development and Infrastructure and Indiabulls Real Estate were up 3-7 percent.

CHICAGO BASED FIRM ‘VESTIAN’ TO INVEST 1000CR IN INDIA
Indian Realty News

Chicago-based Vestian Global Workplace Services, an integrated real estate services provider, on Tuesday said it would invest `1,500 crore in India and China over the next 18 months. The company, which raised the fund from global investors, said about 70 per cent of the proposed investment was earmarked for the Indian market. “We have started interacting with the developers in India and once we have the SEC approvals in place, we will start investing,” said Shrinivas Rao, CEO, Asia Pacific, Vestian Global Workplace Services.

Within India, the company will focus on three key southern markets including Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. Globally, it is looking at development of commercial space in India, China and the MiddleEast. Explaining the increasing need for office workspace in Hyderabad despite ambiguity over a separate state, Rao said, “Within the last three quarters, about five million sq.ft office space has been absorbed by corporates creating about 50,000 jobs in Hyderabad.”

Related Articles: Real estate services firm enters Hyd

816 PROPERTY DEALERS REGISTERED IN GURGAON
Business Standard

The Haryana Property Dealers and Consultant Rules – 2005, which mandates property dealers and builders to get themselves registered with the district administration, has resulted in 816 property dealers and builders in Gurgaon getting themselves registered. According to an official spokesman, the information of all the registered property dealers and builders was available online. Before the sale and purchase of land or flat, one could get the information regarding property dealers and builders on the Gurgaon Administration’s website.

CHEAPER RATES PROMPT REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS TO HEAD FOR SMALL CITIES
The Financial Express

With the real estate developers turning to smaller towns and cities in north for development, the realty prices are expected to surge this year. Market experts feel that the development of infrastructure and availability of land at cheaper rates are attracting the developers to set up projects in these cities.

Realty major Emaar MGF that is coming up with a 3,000 acre integrated township in Mohali (outskirts of Chandigarh) plans to invest close to Rs 2,500 crore into the project. Construction work is on for about 100 villas that have all been sold out, around 70 bunglows and pent houses at the site. Apprising FE about the price scenario in the region, Rajiv Gupta, general manager—Punjab and international sales for the company said, “The prices have been heading northwards since the last two years. In 2010 on an average the realty prices surged by 30 percent in the Punjab region. Where plots are concerned the prices have risen from Rs 11,500 per square yard in 2009 to Rs 22,000 per square yard in 2010. In case of villas there has been a surge of about 25 percent in the prices since we launched and the units were sold at a rate of Rs 1.25 crore last year.”

TWO-BEDROOM APARTMENTS FOR EWS AT RS 75 LAKH
Sukhdeep Kaur, Chandigarh:
The Indian Express

Ironic but true. You need both cash and an EWS certificate to own a dream home near the Shivalik foothills in Panchkula. If a Rs 52 lakh one-bedroom studio apartment at Pride Asia, the joint luxury venture of Chandigarh Housing Board and Parsvnath, was till now the benchmark at prime Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park in Chandigarh, get updated.

A two-bedroom apartment in two societies for economically weaker sections (EWS) — located a stone’s throw from Pride Asia—- in Panchkula’s Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 6, are selling for a whopping Rs 75 lakh. Out of the six group housing societies allotted land by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in 2001-02 in Sector 6, MDC, two societies, Yuva and Manav Hut, were allotted an acre each for Rs 1.3 crore under the EWS category.

AEROCITY PROJECT GETS BIG BOOST AS GMADA WINS VITAL LAND CASE
Nitin Jain, Mohali
The Indian Express

The Supreme Court has cleared a major roadblock to Mohali’s independent integrated township Aerocity, which is to be set up in the vicinity of the upcoming international airport here. With the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) winning the more than two-decade-old litigation on acquisition of 258 acres of land in 1980, the way has been paved for the 200-feet-wide Aerocity road connecting it to Mohali international airport.

The development assumes significance as the parcels of land in dispute, on which a grain market of Sohana existed, fell on the 200-feet-wide road on both sides of which GMADA had recently floated its first urban estate, which had evoked a record response with 3,22,422 people applying for the 3,800 residential plots offered in the first phase. The litigation had blocked work on the road in Sectors 77 and 70.

Finance

RBI ASKS BANKS TO SET ESCROW MECHANISM TO KEEP A WATCH ON REAL ESTATE LOANS
Indian Realty News

The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to put in place an escrow mechanism that can ring fence their loans to real estate firms and keep a closer tab on the end use of funds. The RBI has been looking to tighten the lending norms for the real estate sector after last year’s bribery-for-loan scam involving LIC Housing Finance and some public sector banks. The scandal also exposed several unethical practices, such as diversion of funds. RBI did not respond to an email request for comment. The bank has already advised lenders to closely monitor the end use of funds.

A few weeks ago, it also asked the banks to set up an escrow mechanism at the time of providing project loans to real estate companies. An escrow account will help in safeguarding the interests of the lender from repayment risk and in monitoring the end use of funds. An escrow account is a trust account in the borrower’s name. Payments from the customers of the borrower are deposited in this account to meet obligations, such as loan servicing. “Besides timely implementation of project, the move would ensure transparency in fund utilization,” said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of realty consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

CD RATES CROSS 10 PER CENT LEVEL
Business Standard

Banks expect liquidity to remain tight till March-end.

Interest rates on certificates of deposits (CDs) have crossed the 10 per cent level for the first time this financial year, reflecting banks’ desperation to raise funds. According to dealers, IDBI Bank on Wednesday raised Rs 600 crore for one year at 10.05 per cent.

“The bank is rolling over CDs which are coming up for redemption at a higher rate (double digits),” said a senior IDBI Bank official. Liquidity was expected to remain tight this month and in March and so selective rollovers would helped the bank ensure availability of resources, the official said.

Dealers said there was a resistance for the rates to touch double digits. Since they have reached double digits, a section of the market says short-term rates may harden further. Such levels were seen for the last time in March 2010.

Commercial Real Estate

COMMERCIAL REALTY SURGES ON THE BACK OF DEMAND
Biju Govind, Kozhikode
The Hindu

If the real estate scene in Kozhikode in 2009 saw a dramatic recovery from a slowdown that had global ramifications, in 2010, the sector witnessed a boom with the commercial segment making a surge.

Property developers say the demand for office and commercial space grew rapidly, cornering almost a 70 percent share of the real estate growth. The year saw the launch of several well-known names in the textile and the gold and diamond jewellery industry. Earlier, these business houses had confined their showrooms to regional areas or to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Thrissur.

5 MILLION SQ FT OF RETAIL MALL SPACE ADDED IN 2010
New Delhi
The Hindu Business Line

Fueled by rising consumer confidence and expanding footprint of national and international retailers, India added over 5 million sq ft (msf) of organised retail mall space across top seven cities in 2010. This is higher than 2009-level when 4 msf of retail mall space was added in the country. According to the latest report by CB Richards Ellis, the new supply is concentrated largely in the National Capital region, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

“The second half of 2010 has been an exciting one for the retail industry with an increased momentum in transaction activity amid surging retailer interest. Various established brands and other national or international retailers continued with their renewed expansion plans. A positive economic outlook, surging consumer confidence and spending helped the market maintain its pace of recovery from the downturn,” said the report. The retail space overview spans locations such as Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata.

Pre-commitments in under construction assets in prime locations is also an encouraging sign, the report said adding that rental flexibility, along with revenue share models, have become more acceptable in the industry.

Policy

OCEAN BOULEVARD
D Govardan
Financial Chronicle

How much would the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations, which could come into effect after the notification is introduced in Parliament soon, change the municipal landscape in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata? It’s a development many property developers are keenly waiting to unfold.

The union government has recently notified the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in an attempt to protect the country’s 7,000-km-long coastline, as also to pave the way for planned development and protect the rights of the fishing and other communities who have traditionally lived along the coast. Most agree that its impact is likely to be felt more in Mumbai as it facilitates re-developments of several slums in the city, which is bursting at the seams. Its impact on Chennai is likely to be much less pronounced.

Infrastructure

PLAN PANEL FOR PRIVATE EQUITY IN METRO RAIL
Parul Chhaparia, New Delhi
Financial Chronicle

Planning commission has proposed that Metro rail corporations offload a chunk of their equity to private players. In case of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the panel has even suggested that Delhi Development Authority (DDA) should also be brought in as a stakeholder. The proposal has come as a part of government’s financing plans for metro railways.

“The proposal has been discussed in a meeting between DMRC, planning commission and ministry of urban development. However, it was just an introductory meeting, nothing has been finalised yet,” a government official said on condition of anonymity.

In cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai, the corporations have been set up with 50:50 joint ventures between centre and state governments. In Hyderabad, however, the project has been awarded on public private partnership basis. All this projects together are estimated to cost over Rs 84,000 crore. Planning commission has formed a committee under BK Chaturvedi to prepare the financing plan of Metro rail corporations in next six months. An urban development ministry official declined to comment on the issue. The proposal has come despite DMRC’s continued opposition to the PPP idea for a metro project.

HARYANA ADMITS: STILL TO SPEND RS 1,000 CRORE EDC IN GURGAON
Raghav Ohri, Chandigarh:
The Indian Express

The Haryana government has admitted in court that it is still to spend nearly Rs 1,000 crore collected from Gurgaon residents as external development charges (EDC). This admission has been made in an affidavit filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court by Naresh Kumar Pawar, Executive Engineer, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon.

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