DLF to invest up to Rs 3,000 cr to build new malls

New Delhi: The country’s largest realty player, DLF Ltd will invest up to Rs 3,000 crore over the next five years to develop shopping malls across India as it looks to cash in on opportunities following the further opening up of FDI in retail sector.

The company will develop 3.5 million square feet to 4 million square feet of retail space as it expects heightened activity with the government yesterday approving 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent in single brand.

“I welcome the opening of the retail sector. In the next three to five years, the sector will grow and consumers will benefit. The supply chain issue will also be addressed by the industry adequately. From our side we will invest Rs 2,000

crore to Rs 3,000 crore in the next five years,” DLF Vice-Chairman Rajiv Singh said on the sidelines of CDREAI summit here.

He said most of the new retail malls will come up in cities, including the Capital, NCR, Jalandhar, Lucknow, Kolkatta, Chennai, Kochi and Indore.

Asked about the funding of the investments, he said it would be through internal accruals.

Commenting on the company’s plans to tap the retail sector, Singh said: “We are already present in malls business and have many international brands. After yesterday’s decision on FDI, we will step up our mall activity through our sister firm DLF Brands and hope to get better tenants in future.”

While DLF Brands manages malls, another division of DLF Ltd constructs the malls. The company currently has about 10 operational malls across India.

On the overall investments in core real estate, he said: Usually we invest Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 1,500 crore every year in purchasing new land and rental activities. Our capex for 2012-13 will also be in this range.”

Singh said the company does not foresee real estate prices coming down.

When asked about the company’s plans to sell its hospitality venture Aman Resorts, Singh said: “We are likely to close the deal by next quarter. We have got bids from many players and all of them are international firms.”

He did not comment on the valuation of the deal that would include 29 properties of the hospitality chain that DLF Ltd had acquired in in 2007 for USD 400 million.

Sources in the know of the development, however, said the company is expecting about Rs 2000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore from the deal.

It is also understood that DLF will retain the Delhi property of the Aman Resorts.

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