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GST, infrastructure status drive PE investments in warehousing
June, 11th 2018

Government initiatives such as Make in India, implementation of the Goods & Services Tax and infrastructure status for the logistics sector have been pushing both demand for and investment in warehousing and industrial real estate across the country.

The infrastructure status to the logistics sector that includes industrial parks, cold chains and warehousing facilities has been helping in attracting private investments in these sectors.

While investors eyed opportunities in this sector in anticipation of the reforms to be implemented by the government, the flow of investment has gained further momentum now.

“Warehousing and logistics have emerged as one of the biggest growth areas in recent times. We have seen Rs 15,000 crore private equity investments in warehousing space since 2014. While it made up around 10% of total private equity investment in 2017, the share is now expected to grow further, claiming larger share of investment. India’s logistics and warehousing sector is rapidly transitioning through a revolutionary phase,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India.

According to Nair, India is set to see investments close to Rs 50,000 crore for creation of warehousing facilities across the country between 2018 and 2020. Various categories of warehousing are expected to create about 20,000 jobs during these three years at different levels of specification and specialisation. This investment comes on the back of the fact that nearly Rs 10,000 crore was invested in 2017.

Two major changes that sparked significant growth prospects in warehousing are the implementation of GST in India and creating a unified taxation, and the rapid growth of e-commerce necessitating building of large scale warehousing across various locations.

With GST in place, the organized logistics industry is expected to catapult as the demand for integrated logistics services continues to rise. This underscores the increased appetite for investment among institutional investors in this segment. “We can clearly see increasing institutional participation in warehousing space.

For funds and institutions with longer investment horizons, warehousing will be an excellent fit with regular yield income over the course of the next 5-6 years along with capital appreciation on account of increase in the underlying land values of urban infringes,” said Rubi Arya, vice chairperson, Milestone Capital Advisors. Arya expects additional absorption of more than 200 million sq ft in this category by 2020, driven by growth in manufacturing and consumption in addition to GST implementation, infrastructure push and the rise of e-commerce.

Last week, Singapore’s Ascendas-Singbridge Group and global investment company Temasek Holdings announced `2,000 crore, or Singapore $400 million, to be invested in logistics and industrial real estate in key locations across India. Tapping into India’s growing logistics sector, the platform will invest in key warehousing and manufacturing hubs in Mumbai, NCR, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad, among others.

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