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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Who is responsible for unaffordable houses?

More than rising prices, it's the hike in EMIs that could end up making houses unaffordable. House prices rose faster than incomes, and interest rates shot up even faster.the equated monthly installment (EMI) he's required to pay has shot up from 42% of monthly income to over 67%

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Build up to a smarter city

The Smart City project, which will involve an investment of $350 million, will boast of 88 lakh sq ft of built-up space and supporting infrastructure for IT and ITeS companies. The whole project will be spread across 246 acres of land.

The project promises to generate as many as 90,000 high-paying jobs over a 10-year period. A master-plan for the development of the project will be drawn up and it is expected to take a year to start work. An elated CM points out, �The Smart City project will play a key role in tapping Kerala�s enormous potential for the development of key industries like ICT and media.�
It was as if the realtors were waiting for the Smart City deal to be signed. Kakkanad, which till recently used to be a quiet, sleepy part of Kochi, woke up when the Infopark came into being. Individuals who had owned most part of the area in the form of paddy fields realised that they too were becoming part of the booming realty scenario. With the Smart City agreement in place, the real estate business is experiencing a new buzz..........Read More in Business Standard

India's millionaire club spans 1 lakh mark

Strong economic growth has made Asia home to some of the fastest-growing markets in terms of high net worth individuals, occupying five of the top 10 spots globally.ndia, with a 20.5 per cent increase in the number of HNWIs to 100,015, recorded the second-highest growth rate in HNWIs globally, said the annual World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch.

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Microsoft IT park near Pune

Microsoft is planning to set up an IT park at Hinjewadi, near Pune in Maharashtra. The announcement was made during the visit of state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to the US, where he had a business dinner with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in Seattle.

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50 Indian cities ideal for retail sector

New Delhi, Delhi and Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Friday, June 29, 2007 -- (Business Wire India)
Highlighting the growth opportunities and the emerging geography of Indian retail and property market activity, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj released its World Winning Cities report on Indian Retail. The report entitled �The Geography of Opportunity - The India 50� is the first report in a series on Indian Retail Futures. It highlights the significant opportunities for both domestic and international retailers and property investors across a broad range of geographies and formats.

�The Geography of Opportunity � The India 50� paper highlights that India�s retail sector is evolving at a swift pace, fuelled by a strong economy, favourable demographics, rising wealth levels and rapidly changing lifestyles and consumer aspirations of an ever burgeoning middle class. The real estate sector has responded well to this retail growth. The total retail mall stock has been doubling every year, from a meagre one million square feet in 2002 to a staggering 40 million square feet by end of 2007 and an estimated 60 million square feet by end of 2008.

Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj�s research identifies 50 cities across India that are ideally positioned to benefit from the booming retail sector. The report launches a new retail city classification based on socio-economic characteristics, retailer activity and shopping mall development. The research identifies five types of cities (Maturing, Transitional, High Growth, Emerging and Nascent), each of which is at a different stage in its retail market evolution and offers different types of opportunities for retailers and the property sector.

Organised retail activity is still overwhelmingly concentrated in Delhi and Mumbai (the Maturing Cities) and considerable opportunities still exist in these two vast and diverse metros. We expect these two metros to contribute 40% of national organised retailing by year 2008. Delhi and Mumbai lead the Indian mall culture with estimated total mall stock of 22 million and 15 million sq ft respectively by 2008-09. Nonetheless, the report concludes that increasing competition in the NCR and Mumbai markets, combined with growing opportunities in India�s regional markets, is encouraging both retailers and property developers to move into new and potentially more rewarding markets further a-field. Organised retailing in India�s other main cities, such as Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai (the Transitional Cities) is growing rapidly however such is the pace of change, that many smaller Tier III cities are now firmly on the radar of the retail sector and mall developers.

Vincent Lottefier, CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, says, �India�s 50 cities identified in our report clearly offer substantial and compelling opportunities for India�s growing retail sector. With a population of over 1 million each, these cities will form the very core of India�s emerging retail hierarchy. Interestingly, the top 15 cities (Maturing, Transitional and High growth) from the 50 retail destinations are expected to contribute more than 80% of the total national retail business by 2008. India�s retail awakening is characterised by rapidly changing customer behaviour, new market entrants and evolving government policy. It is imperative to comprehend India�s enormous cultural and regional diversity to get a realistic perspective on the opportunity at hand�.

The report highlights tertiary cities such as Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Lucknow and Kochi (the High Growth Cities) as leading the pack, attracting considerable retailer interest due to high incomes and strong brand awareness. The �next retail destinations� over a three year horizon are likely to be �Emerging Cities� such as Nagpur, Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram, where IT/ITES companies are expanding their workforces, which in turn is stimulating retailing activity. The more pioneering retailers and mall developers are now seeking to benefit from first mover advantage and are moving into �Nascent Cities� such as Aurangabad and Rajkot, which are likely to provide good long term opportunities.

�Emerging City Winners� is Phase IV of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj�s World Winning Cities research. It brings to the fore cities that are already buzzing with retail activity and those which are catching up rapidly to be the next retail hot spots. Many of these Indian rising urban stars offer significant retail opportunities and have not traditionally been on the radar screen on the property sector.

About Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj

Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj is the Indian operations of Jones Lang LaSalle's Asia Pacific business, which established over 45 years ago and currently has 60 offices across 13 countries. Globally, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL), the only real estate money management and services firm named to FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" and Forbes magazine's "400 Best Big Companies," has approximately 160 offices worldwide and operates in more than 450 cities in over 50 countries. With 2006 revenue of over USD2 billion, the company provides comprehensive integrated real estate and investment management expertise on a local, regional and global level to owner, occupier and investor clients. Jones Lang LaSalle is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of over 1 billion square feet worldwide. In 2006, the firm completed Capital Market sales and acquisitions, debt financing, and equity placements on assets and portfolios valued at USD 70.9 billion. LaSalle Investment Management, the company's investment management business, is one of the world's largest and most diverse real estate money management firms, with approximately USD44.3 billion of assets under management.

In India, the Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj geographic footprint covers ten cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad Kolkata, Kochi, Chandigarh & Coimbatore. With a staff strength of over 2800 employees and deep geographic coverage, this is the premiere and largest real estate services company in India. Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj has been successfully providing quality advice on services such as research, consultancy, transactions, project and development services, integrated facility management, property management, capital markets, residential, hotels and retail advisory to investors, local corporates and multi-national companies since 1995. For further information, please visit www.jllm.co.in

Business Wire India copyright. All rights reserved.

Deshmukh meets Bill Gates

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh managed to get a promise from Microsoft chief Bill Gates of investing in the IT park at Hinjewadi on the outskirts of Pune. However quantum of investment from the Microsoft is not known yet.

Deshmukh who is on an eight-day tour of the United States to promote Maharashtra as a preferred investment destination in India, met Gates and other senior officials of Microsoft Corporation at Seattle.

Gates also promised Deshmukh to help Maharashtra develop the systems which will help the state educate farmers of the latest farming techniques, updating them on the market trends and weather reports and such others. These should help increase productivity of Indian farmers, said a release from the chief minister�s office.......Deshmukh meets Bill Gates

PE investors step up India fund monitoring

Institutions and wealthy individuals who invest in private equity (PE) funds, known as limited partners (LPs), are stepping into a more active role to monitor the investments flow even as concerns that the Indian PE market might be overheating are growing.

US and UK-based LPs, who have started allocating fresh funds for investment in India, want to be closer to the ground to ensure that the money is invested in the right opportunities and at the right valuations. Several LPs have discreetly set up base in Mumbai and New Delhi in recent months to directly monitor the activities of their investee fund.........PE investors step up India fund monitoring - livemint

Friday, June 29, 2007

‘Private equity capital shares the developer’s risk’

Indiareit Fund, a real estate venture capital fund promoted by the Piramal group, has a corpus of $100 million. It is also adviser to Indiareit Offshore Fund which has a corpus of $200 million. Recently, Indiareit Fund invested Rs 250 crore in Paranjape Schemes (Construction)’s 138-acre township in Pune. In an interview to our correspondent, Ramesh Jogani, CEO & MD, Indiareit Fund spoke about the opportunities and challenges before real estate funds in India.‘Private equity capital shares the developer’s risk’

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home buyers face smaller penalty (only 1% of the value of a house!) for the late payment

NEW DELHI: House owners, often subject to stiff penalties by realty companies and builders for failing to make payments on time during the construction of a house, may heave a sigh of relief. The government has introduced a clause in the Real Estate Management & Regulation Bill under which penalties have been capped at 1% of the value of a house.

Penalties are charged as interest on the defaulted payment. Industry sources say developers charge interest at rates as high as 8-12% in the absence of any regulation. Almost 30-35% of real estate transactions are construction-linked while the balance is done on the basis of down payments. ...........Home buyers face smaller penalty-Policy -Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

Report: Ultra Rich Getting Richer, Transferring Investments to Real Estate

There are more ultra-rich than years prior, according to a report released today, and the amount of wealth they control soared last year at a rate higher than any time in the past seven years. The 11th annual World Wealth Report, which analyzed the wealthy in 71 countries, was compiled by investment bank Merrill Lynch & consultancy firm Capgemini.

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Is Indian retail heading for a shakeout?

NEW DELHI: Growing consumer spending may have brought about a retail boom in India, but property and logistics woes will push the industry toward a shakeout that will see several retailers, concepts and malls bowing out.

"A rapidly growing, but highly challenging retail environment will inevitably result in many losers as well as winners and two-three years down the road there could be a shakeout," Jones Lang La Salle Senior Manager (Strategic Consulting and Research) Abhishek Kiran Gupta said.......Is Indian retail heading for a shakeout?-Retailing-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

SEZ board recommends DS Kulkarni`s multi services SEZ in Pune

Real estate developer, DS Kulkarni Developers said on Wednesday that the special economic zones board of approval has recommended the proposal of the company to develop a multi services SEZ of 250 acres in Pune, for in-principle approval in its last meeting held on Jun. 22, 2007.........SEZ board recommends DS Kulkarni`s multi services SEZ in Pune

Retail giants spot big scope in small-town mall projects

NEW DELHI: Real estate majors Unitech, Parsvnath and Omaxe are scouting for greenfield mall projects in smaller towns and cities for a faster roll out of their nation-wide retail footprint.

Unitech Limited has even set aside Rs 500 crore for a majority stake in a greenfield retail project or may even go in for a complete buy out in upcoming metro cities like Pune, Nagpur and Indore. Developers such as Parsvanath and Omaxe claim that there are several proposals on their table from local developers for such buy-outs.........Retail giants spot big scope in small-town mall projects-Retailing-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Smaller realtors take exit route

MUMBAI: Liquidity crunch in the real estate market is driving many small-time developers to look around for a cover. Many want to liquidate their land or incomplete projects by selling them to larger developers or private equity players even on reduced valuations. What is forcing them to take this drastic step is the stagnant market, where property rates are showing signs of a major correction, said industry sources.

“I am sitting on, at least, five-six such proposals. Some deals are at an advanced stage. The small-time developers are mainly offering land that they had acquired earlier,” Pradeep Jain, chairman of Parsvnath Developers, told ET...........Smaller realtors take exit route-Commercial-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

Realty boom: Small-town investment to bear fruits-India Business-Business-The Times of India

After reaching dizzying heights in metros like Mumbai, the real estate action is gradually shifting to upcoming smaller towns and cities. Guwahati, Nagpur, Bhuvaneswar, Ludhiana, Surat, Kochi, Indore, Vishakhapatnam, Mysore, Coimbatore, to name a few, have been described as "emerging centres of growth" which are now lending sparkle to India's booming economy.......Realty boom: Small-town investment to bear fruits-India Business-Business-The Times of India

M`rashtra to get $ 200 mn FDI in realty

The Maharashtra government�s industrial infrastructure arm MIDC will jointly develop an integrated township with a New York-based realty firm Vorando Reality Trust at Hinjewadi on the outskirts of Pune.

Hinjewadi is known for housing some of well known IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, Oracle, IBM and others. Voreando will invest $200 million on the township which will be developed over the next five yearsM`rashtra to get $ 200 mn FDI in realty

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Yorkers Urged to Be Eco-Friendly

If every New York household replaced 75 percent of its standard light bulbs with the energy-saving models, the equivalent savings would be enough to power the city's subways and light all of its stations.

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TAC Agrees to Acquire Six Yamas Controls Locations

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TAC, a world leader in building automation, security systems and energy solutions, today signed a purchase agreement to acquire six operating units of Yamas Controls Group Inc. These six units have combined revenue of more than $40 million and a workforce of 225 employees. TAC will acquire Yamas Controls Inc. in San Francisco; the Yamas Controls Southwest office in Las Vegas; and four Yamas Controls Carolinas offices located in Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Morrisville (Raleigh), N.C.; and Greenville, S.C. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in San Francisco in 1952, Yamas Controls Group is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and is privately-owned by Alestra Ltd., a London-based financial holding company. Yamas is one of the nation's largest independent systems integrators and installs building management systems (BMS) to control heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, energy, security, and access. Its operating companies are leaders in various market segments, including education, healthcare, commercial, pharmaceutical, hospitality and gaming, government, and manufacturing.

“Acquiring these Yamas business units allows TAC to secure prominent systems integration market share in the Carolinas and to establish a foothold in the integration business in the fast growing western U.S. regions of Northern California and Las Vegas,” said Dean Meyer, president of TAC Americas. “As part of TAC, the former Yamas offices will be able to offer more products to their customers and provide a broader array of support services as well. Furthermore, Yamas successfully serves many of the same core market segments as TAC, making the two companies highly compatible.”

“This acquisition is aligned with the growth strategy of TAC's parent company, Schneider Electric, which is to expand beyond power management by offering a complete building management platform with a full suite of integration solutions,” said Arne Frank, chairman and chief executive officer of TAC.

The Yamas locations in the Carolinas will be integrated with existing TAC offices, and the western operations will function within TAC’s current systems integration office management structure.

About TAC

TAC is a leading provider of building automation solutions based on Open Integrated Systems for Building IT. TAC's mission is to provide added value through building environment services for indoor climate, security and use of energy, delivered with advanced technology to end users and property owners throughout the world. With over 80 years of experience in the HVAC, building automation and security arenas, TAC employs more than 5,000 people worldwide, with partners and branches in 80 countries. TAC's parent company, Schneider Electric, is the world leader in automation and electricity management, with 112,000 employees worldwide and operations in 190 countries.

Copyright © 2007, TAC, All rights reserved.

Jeannie H. Birdwell, 972-323-5518
Communications Manager
214-725-6158 (mobile)

Terms of Use | © Business Wire 2007

Southern Cross Station in Melbourne Scoops International Architecture Award

Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, Australia by Grimshaw (working within the Grimshaw Jackson Joint Venture) has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Lubetkin Prize, supported by The Architectural Review, for the most outstanding work of architecture outside the UK and the European Union by RIBA

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Award for Burnley's panopticon

BURNLEY'S Singing Ringing Tree has won a prestigious national architecture award. The piece of art was one of three North West winners out of 14 hopefuls announced at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Awards held in London.The panopticon at Crown Point features galvanised steel tubes that sing' when the wind blows throw them

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Victorians urged to act as house that Boyd made slips from public hands

this modernist masterpiece in bricks, mortar and exposed beams, designed by renowned Melbourne architect Robin Boyd and currently in public hands, will be sold at auction next month — and the only cries of protest so far are from architects.

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"The Architects Are Here" Becomes The First Serial Internet Novel

Toronto, Canada (AHN) - Claiming to be the first serial novel online, Facebook will launch "The Architects Are Here," written by Michael Winter of Newfoundland, Canada, on June 26. Penguin Publishers, over a 10-week period with 47 posts, will put online 300 words from each chapter along with commentary and photographs.

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Real estate agents form national body - livemint

Real estate agents across India have come together to form a national association for the first time, aiming to self-regulate their profession and to bring international practices to a predominantly unorganized sector.
To be called, National Association of Realtors India (NARI), the group has been registered under the Registrar of Societies Act as a not-for-profit organization. It has also tied up with US-based National Association of Realtors, which has more than 800,000 members and also has the trademark rights to the use of ‘realtors ’. ........Real estate agents form national body - livemint

Carbon calculator for mobile phones

Hot on the trail of the government’s online carbon calculator comes climate:mobile. This is a nifty little piece of software for mobile phones developed for the C-Change Project that will work out your carbon footprint for you. The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is launching the carbon calculator for mobile phones at Glastonbury

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Squalor or opportunity?

Architect sees $2.3-billion (U.S.) project as a blueprint that can make any city in the world slum-free. Architect Mukesh Mehta has a bold, some say foolhardy, scheme for clearing Asia's biggest slum: sell it.Late last month, the state government placed advertisements in 20 countries inviting developers to grab "the opportunity of the millennium"

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REUTERS SUMMIT-CapitaLand to launch new India, China funds-CEO | Bonds News | Reuters.com

SINGAPORE, June 25 (Reuters) - CapitaLand (CATL.SI: Quote, Profile , Research), Southeast Asia's most valuable developer, is set to launch two more property funds this year that will invest in India and China with initial funds of S$500 million (US$325 million) each, its Chief Executive Liew Mun Leong said on Monday.

"By the end of the year, our assets under management could hit S$17-18 billion," Liew told the Reuters Real Estate Summit in Singapore. He said the group's current assets under management were about S$14 billion........REUTERS SUMMIT-CapitaLand to launch new India, China funds-CEO | Bonds News | Reuters.com

Reuters Summit-Tishman Speyer JV eyes new India property fund | Reuters

SINGAPORE, June 25 (Reuters) - An India joint venture between private U.S. real estate firm Tishman Speyer and ICICI Bank (ICBK.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) could tap global investors to raise a new fund, a company executive said on Monday.

Brushing off fears that a property bubble is forming in India, the chief executive of TSI Ventures, Kok Huat Goh, told the Reuters Real Estate Summit in Singapore that his current $700 million pot was being spent fast...........Reuters Summit-Tishman Speyer JV eyes new India property fund | Reuters

Design Community Creates Can Sculptures to Combat Hunger

With an ingenious Audrey II plant from Little Shop of Horrors, architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design firm Nadaskay Kopelson Architects is this year's winner of the CANstruction competition. The annual engineering contest, honoring canned food structures, was conceived by the design and construction industry to replenish food bank

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AIA Houston Honors Innovative Sand Castles

On June 2, Houston area architects, designers, engineers, and contractors traded their usual assortment of tools for buckets and shovels at Galveston Island Beach, Texas.The occasion? The annual sand castle contest sponsored by the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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'Our profitability has been consistent'

In a t�te-�-t�te with Niren Shah, the chairman of Parsvnath Developers, Pradeep Jain, lashes out at competitors including the largest real estate player DLF for showing sudden jump in revenues and profits and claims that his company has maintained consistent growth over the past many years.

In FY07, the company reported robust numbers with 93 per cent growth in its topline and 147 per cent surge in operating profit. Re-iterating that the company would continue its rapid growth going forward, Jain says that real estate prices are still headed up and the company would continue to focus on Tier-II and Tier-III cities...........'Our profitability has been consistent'

Mutual funds wary about realty

The global funds are gung-ho about the prospects of India�s real estate sector and have committed billions of dollars, but the Indian mutual funds are treading cautiously. The fund managers are concerned about �overstretched and unjustified� valuations of real-estate stocks and are quietly reducing their exposure to them.

�The fund managers are not investing in companies whose business models are purely dependent on residential and commercial properties. Valuation was always a concern with this sector. Attempts were made in the past to bring in transparency, but questions about the future value of the landbanks and the logic applied to derive such value, still remain,� said a top fund manager with a leading domestic mutual fund, which recently shed its real estate exposure. He also admitted that fears of a real estate bubble negatively impacted the plans of fund houses to invest in real estate firms.........Mutual funds wary about realty

Environmental norms for builders to be eased soon -- The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The government is in the process of framing easier environment clearance guidelines for builders that could significantly cut down the time needed for getting plans approved.

According to the new norms, a single-window system for environment clearances will replace the existing complicated system where developers need to have separate clearances from the state and the Centre. This could enable builders to get their building plans approved within two-three months instead of the existing time span of up to two years.......Environmental norms for builders to be eased soon-Policy-Economy-News-The Economic Times

Global property investment at a turning point

LONDON (Reuters) - Global real estate investment is still buoyant but a few cracks are starting to show as higher borrowing costs begin to bite, making 2007 a pivotal year after an extended bull run in property prices.

Future trends will be a key theme for top executives from the world's property industry at the Reuters Real Estate Summit, which is being held in London, New York and Singapore on June 25-27..............Global property investment at a turning point

Real estate sector to see consolidation soon-Realty Trends-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: After mergers in the Indian sky, it is now time for consolidation in real estate sector which is feeling constrained by rising interest rates and falling inflow of funds, industry experts feel.
"For big developers there is no impact of rising interest rate but small players are finding it difficult to raise money for their proposed projects. They would need to sell their projects to big developers," said, Ansal API Vice-President (Marketing) Kunal Banerjee.
Distress sale of projects is already happening, he said, adding the industry would witness more of it in days to come. .........Real estate sector to see consolidation soon-Realty Trends-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

Illegal structures face PMC hammer -- The Times of India

PUNE: Municipal commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi has declared a crack down on illegal constructions, which block the natural flow of water. “We will undertake a drive to pull down all such constructions and initiate criminal action against the guilty,” Pardeshi said.
However, he refused to identify which constructions were likely to face the hammer, pointing out that the owners/builders might move court and obtain a stay, preventing the municipal corporation from carrying out the drive. ............Illegal structures face PMC hammer-Pune-Cities-The Times of India

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mushrooms make Eco-friendly insulation, young developers say

After looking through about 800 patents, though, Bayer and McIntyre realized they'd hit upon a relatively original idea. Unlike many green building products, Greensulate isn't made from pre-existing materials. It requires little energy or expense to produce because it's grown from organic material.

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e-Builder to Sponsor Seminar on Collaborative Program Management with South Florida CMAA Chapter

Seminar to offer insights on improving delivery of capital project management and ways to control cost, schedule, and scope.

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (PRWEB) June 23, 2007 -- e-Builder, a provider of web-based capital project management software, will host a seminar with the South Florida Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) July 19th, 2007, on Collaborative Program Management Technologies and Process Change. The event will be held at e-Builder's training facility in Plantation, Florida from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. A networking reception will precede the seminar, with leading South Florida CM firms and capital project owners in attendance.

The seminar will focus on emerging technologies in the field of program and project management, and how these tools are being deployed by capital project owners to improve project delivery. Additionally, the seminar will cover their effect on CM services and profitability. For more information on the seminar please contact Sergio Aranda at 954-556-6717, or David Carter at 305-514-3272, or to register, please visit www.e-builder.net/cmaa-seminar.html ...........e-Builder to Sponsor Seminar on Collaborative Program Management with South Florida CMAA Chapter

Business Daily Africa - - Cement makers eye carbon trade market

A carbon finance investment forum held recently in South Africa resolved to trade 100 million carbon credits annually from Africa in what is being seen as the next opportunity to help Africa tackle poverty through trade and not aid. Carbon emission buyers and bankers who participated in the forum found that there were latent opportunities for Africa countries to sell carbon credits to industrialised countries. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that by selling 100 million carbon credits Africa economies will earn an estimated $1.2 billion (Sh80.4 billion) per year...........Business Daily Africa - the international window into East African business opportunities - Cement makers eye carbon trade market

Prosperity and greenhouse gases - Hamilton Spectator

China and India can't maintain their economic performance unless the West pays them to deal with climate change.........Hamilton Spectator - News

Banking on land -Property-The Sunday ET-Magazines-The Economic Times

Big real estate players have, in fact, amassed huge land reserves. Emaar-MGF has reserves to the tune of 10,000 acre, DLF has 10,255 acres while Unitech’s holdings stand at 10,700 acres, according to estimates. Other real estate players such as Vipul and Uppal Housing also have land banks amounting to 1,500 acre and 1,000 acre respectively.

Moreover, it is not just real estate players who are buying big time. Even the realty wings of big corporate houses such as Tata Housing Development Company (THDC) and Godrej Properties are gearing up to accumulate land for the future. .........Banking on land -Property-The Sunday ET-Magazines-The Economic Times

Construction Industry is slammed for not thinking of long-term goals- ArabianBusiness.com

Construction in the UAE is not being carried out with social responsibility towards energy efficiency and sustainability, according to Dr Abdalla Mohamed Al Amiri, associate professor, College of Engineering, UAE University........term goals - Construction - ArabianBusiness.com

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Robot Office Version 20 Ready for Structural Engineering Industry

Robobat is rolling out version 20 of its ROBOT Office software suite. This new offer includes modular and interoperable programs intended for all engineering professionals who want to simulate, calculate, and design structures. Robobat software is used by engineers worldwide for large-scale projects such as the Stade de France (French national stadium) and the South Shanghai railway station...........Robot Office Version 20 Ready for Structural Engineering Industry

It's the rail to r(et)ail revolution-Retailing-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Get this: The Indian Railways has nearly 7,000 stations, 300 railyards and 2,300 goods sheds along 63,000 km of tracks criss-crossing India. And 7 cinema halls. This last and least-known railway asset is the vanguard of the latest Indian Railways venture: to offer retail biggies a chance to convert spaces in and around their properties into profitable ventures..........It's the rail to r(et)ail revolution-Retailing-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Varsity flyover: Sena to wait till July 7

Pune, June 22: The Shiv Sena on Friday threatened to storm the flyover segment between University of Pune chowk and Government Polytechnic and forcibly open it for public use as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities had adopted delay tactics ignoring the plight of the road users.

However, the agitation was put off till July 7, on which day the MSRDC officials said the flyover will be opened for use......Varsity flyover: Sena to wait till July 7

Green advocates get chief's backing-Pune-Cities-The Times of India

PUNE: Municipal commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi has assured environmentalists that he will appeal to political leaders to nominate at least five experts in the field of tree plantation and conservation to the Pune Tree Authority (PTA). ........Green advocates get chief's backing-Pune-Cities-The Times of India

The Statesman : Cement Import

HYDERABAD, June 22: Chief minister Dr YS Rajashekar Reddy today wrote to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to allow direct import of cement without conditions to help reduce the rising cement prices in Andhra Pradesh. This would save the country Rs 20,000 crore, he said.........The Statesman

JK Lakshmi Cement to invest Rs600 cr on expansion - livemint

Chandigarh: The Rs900 crore JK Lakshmi Cement plans to expand its manufacturing capacity to about 5 million metric tonnes and setting up upto 20 ready-mix-concrete (RMC) plants at a total outlay of about Rs600 crore.......JK Lakshmi Cement to invest Rs600 cr on expansion - livemint

Friday, June 22, 2007

Realty Sales on Carpet Area Basis

S S Kshatriya Principal Secretary, Housing Department, Government of Maharashtra, makes Announcement at "Realty 2007", the CII Real Estate Conference in Mumbai

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Friday, June 22, 2007 -- (Business Wire India)
Maharashtra's draft housing policy, which has been kept for comments and reactions by the common man as also the industry, is all set to be finalized by the next month, said Mr S S Kshatriya Principal Secretary, Housing Department Government of Maharashtra. Among the new issues it is likely to contain is the mandatory requirement of buying and selling of real estate on basis of carpet area, he added.

The Maharashtra Government has accepted its role as that of a facilitator and an enabler, said Mr Kshatriya, in his special address, "Vision of Real Estate Growth". He was speaking at "Realty 2007", the Confederation of Indian Industry organised Real Estate Conference. "The Government of Maharashtra is positive in its thinking when it comes to real estate, and is making efforts to remove the constraints faced by real estate industry," he added.

He spoke of the proposal for reserving some portion of housing layouts and townships for LIG housing or homes for EWS, and said the government could not be a mute onlooker, given the rising price levels of residential real estate. He termed "affordable housing" as a goal which the government was striving towards.

Touching on Public-Private Partnerships, affordable housing, self approval and working towards a single window clearance, adopting new technologies, private sector sharing responsibility for infrastructure development, incentives for rental housing, credit rating and bringing about more transparency, Mr Kshatriya said these are the issues that the Government of Maharashtra is seized of. "Public-Private Partnerships," he said, "were a means of facilitating the tremendous opportunity knocking at our doors."

On the issue of having a regulator for real estate, Mr Kshatriya said, "When you liberalize a segment of industry, there is a corresponding need for regulation, and real estate will follow power and telecom, when we talk in terms of having a regulator." He added that the rising price aspect of real estate may need to be regulated as well, "but if the industry would do it by itself, there might not be the need for the state government to step into the regulation aspect as regards pricing levels", he added.

He took up the issue of whether reservation for LIG and EWS was the best solution when it came to affordable housing, pointing out that the need was for "inclusive cities". He said extended suburbs were a location where affordable housing seemed possible, but these locations were being neglected. "How do we make these attractive?" was the question he raised.

Another issue was, how to provide incentives for rental housing? Mr Kshatriya said that on issues like FSI and taxation, the state government could consider giving preferential treatment for initiatives that promoted rental housing. He also stressed on the need to adopt new technologies which would bring about a revolution in mass housing. On the issue of need for infrastructure, he suggested the industry could share responsibility for infrastructure development by contributing to a fund, he added.

He also touched on Credit Rating and the need for Transparency in real estate.

Earlier, Mr Banmali Agrawala Deputy Chairman, CII Western Region & Managing Director, Wartsila India Ltd in his welcome address raised the question whether the present real estate boom is "all pervasive", or just for a small segment. Mentioning the role private sector has to play in the emerging scenario, he stressed on the need for infrastructure growth.

Mr Anuj Puri Conference Chairman & Chairman and Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj pointed out the changes that real estate in India was witnessing, and said the conference deliberations would focus on current trends and future prospects in the Indian construction and real estate sector. He hoped that an analysis of contemporary trends would help understand the underlying market dynamics, while greater understanding via open, intelligent discussion among those who decisively influence the industry would help shape the sector's future, he said.

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