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Indian developer gears up for 2018 REIT listing

Indian developer K. Raheja Corp. earmarked up to 12.00 billion Indian rupees for a strategy to expand its commercial property portfolio, which it intends to list as a real estate investment trust in 2018, Livemint reported.

The company — in which Blackstone Group LP took a 15% stake, worth up to US$300 million, in 2016 — will use the amount to finance the development of two projects comprising roughly 3 million square feet of office space in Chennai.

According to the Dec. 28 report, the two Chennai projects will mark K. Raheja's first time building information technology parks in the Indian city. Completion of the first development, a six-acre project featuring 1.1 million square feet in the town of Porur, is expected within the next two years. Work on the second project, a 2 million-square-foot development, is scheduled to begin mid-2018.

Vinod Rohira, K. Raheja's managing director for commercial real estate and REIT, said that before the company proceeds with the REIT listing, it intends to "crystalize a lot of things internally."

K. Reheja operates and leases approximately 20 million square feet of commercial space across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. It also manages three IT Parks in Navi Mumbai under its Mindspace brand.

As of Dec. 27, US$1 was equivalent to 64.16 Indian rupees.