IREO announces tie up with Hyatt Hotels

The company has tied up with the global hotel chain Hyatt for managing the projects, according to reports.

India’s first and largest private equity fund dedicated to the real estate sector, IREO,  announced today that it has entered into management agreements with the internationally acclaimed hospitality chain, Hyatt Hotels Corporation  for “Grand Hyatt” branded luxury residences and a Grand Hyatt Hotel at  the upscale IREO City complex on Golf Course Extension Road in Gurgaon.  IREO City, itself, is an ambitious, world class  mixed-use development project spread over approximately 800-acres – a resort city within a city– that includes schools, hospitals, parks, offices, shopping malls, art centres, and theatres.

30 St Mary Axe, London
(“The Gherkin”)
Architect: Foster and Partners

A first of its kind, this project will be designed  by the renowned London based architectural firm Foster+ Partners, led by the visionary Lord Norman Foster and celebrity interior designer, Tony Chi of the New York based Tony Chi & Associates. Collectively these two firms have designed many landmark projects throughout the world, including Foster’s, The Swiss Re Headquarters, London, the Beijing Airport, and Tony Chi & Associates’ opulent Park Hyatt Shanghai and the stylish Andaz, 5th Avenue in New York City.

Spread over a sprawling 29 acres, the project will be in close connectivity with Cyber City, Gurgaon’s Central Business District ; the golf course and the International Airport. The residences will offer approximately 265 luxury residences in configurations of four bedroom units, duplex, connected/floating units and penthouses (ranging from 4, 600 sq ft to 10,000 sq.ft). The residences have been strategically designed to overlook an approximately 50 acre golf park being developed within IREO City and will be accessed by two private lifts along with a private foyer.

The residences are  being crafted in sync with IREO’s “Open Living” principles and will have outstanding features like extra high ceilings, use of floor to ceiling glazing to bring natural light to all corners of unit, large decks / extended balconies with viewing corridors, intelligent air-conditioning, heated bathroom flooring, international quality kitchen and wardrobes, and smart-home automation systems. The pent houses will also have their own private pools.

Owners of the Grand Hyatt Gurgaon Residences units will be pampered on a daily basis at the exclusive clubhouse operated and managed by Hyatt which will feature a library lounge, restaurant, banquet space, multi-purpose sports facility, a state of the art gymnasium and yoga room, heated swimming pool, outdoor decks which doubles up as event space. Amenities such as concierge, valet, laundry services, in-residence dining, and residential moving facilities will also be available to the residents.  Residents will also be able to enjoy private access to the neighboring Grand Hyatt Hotel’s amenities and services, including the spa, business centre, multiple restaurants and state of the art meeting facilities.

gh TP

Grand Hyatt Taipei
Interior Designer: Tony Chi

Speaking on the project, Lalit Goyal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of IREOsaid, “At IREO, creating superior value by constantly working to raise the bar in terms of quality of life delivered in each of our projects is our priority. Our core philosophy of Open Living focuses on the seamless integration of residential communities, work and recreation facilities; exemplifying the future of luxury urban living in India. We feel this project will be transformative, not just in the ambition of building a true 21st Century lifestyle, but also in the harnessing of the collaborative vision and efforts of world leaders in the fields of architecture, design and hospitality services. All of them are individually, no less than legends in their fields, and we believe our collective shared vision will be a true example of modern innovation in living design”.

“Grand Hyatt Gurgaon Residences, in tandem with the Grand Hyatt hotel, will be a crown jewel development in IREO City and the Delhi NCR region. With the third highest capita income in India, Gurgaon is attracting entrepreneurs and business owners who have an appetite for luxury brands and residences,” said Ratnesh Verma, Senior Vice President of Real estate and Development, Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.  He further added, “Along with the vision that IREO brings to the table, we have a remarkable opportunity to expand the presence of the iconic Grand Hyatt brand in the rapidly growing Indian market”. John Burlingame, Global Head of Residential Development, Hyatt Hotels Corporation adds, “We are extremely honoured and excited that the Grand Hyatt brand will fly its flag over this remarkable project. It is an enormous opportunity for the legendary service and global amenities, which Grand Hyatt has become so well known for, to add to the extraordinary quality of life for of each of the residents and guests in this large scale vision of a brand new and thoroughly modern city of 21st century India.”

Union Budget 2013: BAI seeks hike in exemption limit on home loan interest

Builders’s Association of India (BAI) today sought to increase exemption limit on interest of home loans to Rs 3 lakh from the present Rs 1.5 lakh in the Union Budget to be presented next week.

Builders’s Association of India (BAI) today sought to increase exemption limit on interest of home loans to Rs 3 lakh from the present Rs 1.5 lakh in the Union Budget to be presented next week.

“We demand Finance Minister P Chidambaram to hike exemption limit on interest of home loan from present Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh in the forthcoming Union Budget to keep the pace of interest to cover cost of flats available in major parts of the country,” BAI Secretary Anand J Gupta said in a statement.

At present, there is an exemption limit of Rs 1.5 lakh for the present interest rates on home loans ranging between 10- 11 per cent per annum and the amount is sufficient only on home loan up to Rs 15 lakhs, Gupta said.

All the major towns having population above 1 million hardly find any location and flats available within Rs 15 lakh since most of the houses cost Rs 30 lakh and above.

“We builders feel that since Independence, out of the three basic needs – ‘roti, kapda and makan’ – we have successfully overcome the need for food and clothing, but have miserably failed in solving housing problems in urban areas,” the BAI official said.

There is a shortage of 30 million houses in urban areas. Union Budget is a great instrument to frame a policy to overcome these issues, he said.

Read more: The Economic Times

House panel submits report on regulation of home finance firms

Parliamentary standing committee on finance on Tuesday submitted it report on National Housing Bank (Amendment) Bill that seeks to transfer registration and regulation of housing finance companies to Reserve Bank of India.

This move will enable National Housing Bank to give undivided attention to supervision of housing finance companies and ensuring better credit flow to housing sector in the country.

There are as many 57 housing finance companies. Such a move will help NHB shed the dual roles of regulation and supervision of the housing finance companies and also help central and state government in formulation of policies, the standing committee report on the bill tabled in Parliament said.

NHB is refinancing the housing loans granted by housing finance companies, banks, regional rural banks and urban cooperative banks. Nearly Rs 2 lakh crore has been disbursed by public sector banks and housing finance companies to low income housing segment during 2007-12. This disbursement is expected to go up to Rs 6 lakh crore by 2017.

The parliamentary standing committee also submitted its report to Parliament on yet another bill Small Industries Development Bank of India (Amendment) Bill, suggesting the financial institution be mandated to earmark at least 50 per cent of its lending to micro and small enterprises.

Read more: My Digital FC


Indian economy expands more than China in February: HSBC

India expanded at a faster rate than China in February even as emerging market economies witnessed a moderation in economic growth, an HSBC survey said today.

The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, fell from 53.8 in January to 52.3 in February. This is the lowest figure since August 2012 and indicated a moderation in economic growth in global emerging markets.

During February, the HSBC composite index for India, which maps both the manufacturing and services sectors, stood at 54.8, whereas for China it was 51.4.

An index measure of above 50 indicates expansion.

Among the largest economies covered, growth rates slowed in China, India and Brazil in February, but India expanded more than China.

“Emerging Market economies continued to expand in February but the pace of growth lost steam. The slowdown appears to be broad-based across manufacturing and services, with BRIC activity moderating after a promising start to the new year,” HSBC Chief Economist, Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa Murat Ulgen said.

All four BRIC economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China — registered slower increases in new business since January. Moreover, employment also rose at the weakest rate in three months, HSBC said.

Read more: Business Line


Budget 2013: Measures that will impact NRIs

If you are a non-resident receiving royalties from India for any technical services provided, the tax rate will now be 25% instead of 10%.

As the Budget speech comes to an end, we list down the quick takeaways for Non Resident Indians (NRIs). We will continue to bring you detailed analyses as finer aspects of the Finance Bill trickle in.

Measure: More tax for the super rich

Impact: The Finance Minister proposed an additional surcharge on incomes over Rs 1 crore. If you have a taxable income of over Rs 1 crore in India, you will now have to pay a surcharge of 10 percent. This additional tax is currently proposed only for financial year 2013-14. For non-residents, income here would include any income that arises or accrues in India such as interest on investments, rental income from property located in India, capital gains on sale of assets located in India etc.

Measure: More than just tax residency certificate for claiming treaty benefits

Impact: In the last Budget, the Finance Minister announced that it was mandatory for non-residents who were claiming tax treaty benefits to present a tax residency certificate (TRC) from the country of their residence. As if that were not enough, this time, an additional clause has been inserted. Accordingly, now a TRC will not be ‘sufficient condition’ for claiming such relief. However, the Finance Bill does not explain what the other conditions could be. This slightly unclear proposal, if passed, can has give the tax department increased power to examine these claims, leaving the non-resident with more compliances to follow.

Read more: The Economic Times

NRIs can take home loans but conditions apply

Shyamal Banerjee/Mint

The Indian real estate market is attractive for non-resident Indians (NRIs) as it is easier to earn in a stronger currency and pay in Indian rupees. Things also become easier as they can avail home loans from banks in India to purchase property here.

Anyone who comes under the definition of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) can avail a home loan in India. FEMA defines an NRI as someone who resides outside India for “employment, carrying on business or vocation in circumstances as would indicate an intention to stay outside India for an indefinite period”. It also says that an individual will also be considered NRI if his stay in India is less than 182 days during the preceding financial year.

However, as an NRI you cannot buy more than two residential properties in India. Says Om Ahuja, CEO, residential services, Jones Lang LaSalle India, a property consultancy firm: “An NRI cannot purchase more than two properties in India. This is regardless of if you own a property in the country that you are working in and residing in. There are no such restrictions on commercial property though. However, NRIs are not allowed to purchase agricultural land here.”

Read more: Mint


Pay hikes likely to be at 12% in 2013-14: Mercer

Mercer survey predicts an average pay hike of 12 per cent across industries in 2013-14.

Indian companies are expected to dole out an average salary hike of 12 per cent in the next one year, while laying more emphasis on performance—linked pay packets, says a survey by global consultancy Mercer.

While the projected average pay hike for 2013—14 fiscal is unchanged from the last two financial years, a decline has been witnessed in hiring intentions of companies for the next one year, the report said.

`2013 Total Remuneration Survey —— All Industries’ released today has projected an average salary increase of 12 per cent across industries in the next fiscal.

“Overall average salary increase would be around 12 per cent in 2013—14 period,” Mercer India’s Director (Information Product Solutions) Muninder Anand said.

Pharmaceutical sector expects to see the highest pay hike at 12.5 per cent.

“While companies continue to budget for double digit increments, there appears to be a strong sentiment to contain costs leading to companies re—evaluating their budgets,” the report said.

The findings are based on a survey of 734 organisations across diverse sectors.

Read more: Business Line

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