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CapitaLand aims to more than double AUM in India to S$7b by 2024

Photo - Mr Lee Chee Koon, Group CEO, CapitaLand Group, visiting ITPB-MTB 5.jpg
CapitaLand's Group CEO, Lee Chee Koon (second from left), following a site visit in International Tech Park Bangalore.

CITING India as one of the group's key markets, mainboard-listed property heavyweight CapitaLand on Tuesday said it plans to more than double its assets under management (AUM) in the country to S$7 billion by 2024, from S$3.3 billion currently. 

To achieve this, CapitaLand will invest capital towards growing its development pipeline, and work with capital partners to expand its fund management business over the next five years, it said. 

These plans were announced by group CEO Lee Chee Koon in Bangalore at CapitaLand's first media conference in India, since the completion of its S$11 billion acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge on June 30 this year. 

With India's growing young workforce, e-commerce, and demand for high-quality logistics facilities, the aim is to increase the group's portfolio there of business and IT parks, industrial and logistics properties to 40 million square feet (sq ft) by 2024, CapitaLand said.

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The group now has about 17.4 million sq ft of such space in India across Bangalore, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.

About 80 per cent of this portfolio is under Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) and two private funds - Ascendas India Growth Programme and the Ascendas India Logistics Programme - with the remainder under its balance sheet, the group said. 

As at June 30, a-iTrust's AUM stands at S$1.9 billion. Separately, the S$300 million Ascendas India Growth Programme was launched in 2013 with GIC as the principal investor, while the S$400 million Ascendas India Logistics Programme was set up in 2018 with Temasek Holdings as the principal investor. 

According to the group, CapitaLand's business parks in India have an occupancy rate of over 95 per cent catering to both multinational corporations and local companies that employ over 120,000 professionals.

CapitaLand also has a network in India of more than 1,500 units across 10 lodging properties owned and/or managed by its wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott). Three properties are operating in Chennai and Mumbai, while seven serviced residences are to be opened by 2022, the group noted. 

Added Mr Lee: "We see strong potential to leverage new economy trends such as the growth in e-commerce, urbanisation and knowledge economies to expand in the business park and logistics sectors, which are core sectors for the India economy. For our lodging business under Ascott, we will continue to build on the recurring fee income, by seeking opportunities to expand primarily through management contracts, franchises and leases in key cities with strong demand from expatriates and travellers."

Jonathan Yap, president of CapitaLand Financial, who also oversees CapitaLand's business in India, said: "Over the last 25 years, we have built deep expertise in India across the full real estate value chain, from owning, developing, leasing and managing properties as well as
managing funds.

"a-iTrust and private funds remain integral to CapitaLand's expansion, enabling us to grow our AUM and build scale along with our capital partners... We are also looking to grow our funds business in India to expand and diversify our portfolio."