US based Rusell Investments is another global real estate investment company looking to build up Indian exposure. The company has told Reuters that it sees growing markets in China and India withstanding a global downturn. Russell Investments is in the process of raising several funds for Asia, and will invest 8-12 funds funds to make up its fund-of-funds. These funds will mainly invest in India and China.
Russell Investments has also appointed its Asia Pacific head for investments in the region. The newswire quotes Martin Lamb, newly appointed Asia Pacific head of property for Russell, as saying: “Our clients tell us they want to be in Asia property, and we go where our clients want to go”. Lamb also asserted that despite a downturn in the U.S. and Europe, there is a strong domestic need particularly in India and China that continues to fuel demand for housing and retail. The investment management firm , which raises money from institutions such as pension funds and invests them with other fund managers, said it expects to more than double its investments in Asia properties over the next three years, from about $300 million currently. Russell’s top institutional clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Prudential Assurance, and Barclays.
A lot of real estate funds are increasing their clout in India. JPMorgan, the third largest US bank, will invest more than $1 billion in Asian real estate over the next three years. In a related development, Merrill Lynch is also raising a Pacific Rim real estate investment fund to the tune of $2.5-3 billion. According to Reuters, the new fund will invest in different types of property across the Pacific Rim, including India, Australia, Japan and the rest of Asia.