Donald Trump revives India investment plans; eyes realty, hotels

American real estate mogul Donald Trump is looking to make “substantial investments” in the Indian property and hotel sectors, after his previous plans failed to materialise. Trump, who has previously struck brand licensing deals with local developers lending its name to ultra luxury projects, is now looking to make direct investments.

Trump addressed the media on Tuesday formally launching his second co-branded projects Trump Tower, in partnership with Indian realty major Lodha Group in the country's financial capital Mumbai. In the past it has lent its brand to a project by Panchshil Realty in Pune, which is under construction.

It is one among a string of such licensing deals where foreign luxury brands have lent their name to real estate projects in India—another one being Armani.

Trump Organization, however, has not made any equity investment in any of the two Indian projects in the country. In the past the firm had said it is looking to invest in India as way back as 2007 but the change in business environment after the slowdown in 2008 meant no such investments materialised.

"We will make investments in India, substantial investments in India. It's a great place to invest,” said Trump during a news conference to announce Trump Tower project in Mumbai.

He did not clarify through which mode he is looking to invest in the country and how much.

“I do see India as a great place to invest, and I think the election made that even better…I don't know that I would have made that statement three, four, five years ago. It was different,” he added while referring to business-friendly Narendra Modi-led government's efforts to revive the economic growth and boost infrastructure.

Trump had signed a licensing pact with Lodha Group for Trump Tower, construction of which was kicked off earlier this year. The project will deliver 320 luxury apartments in a 75-storey tower in the up-market Lower Parel area of Mumbai. The tower will consist 3, 4 and 6 bedroom apartments at Rs 40,000 per sq ft, with prices ranging at Rs 9-18 crore. The project is expected to be completed over four-five years.

The billionaire entrepreneur’s property portfolio spans projects in South Korea, Turkey and Dubai, in addition to hotels and skyscrapers in the US. 

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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