IIFL Holdings registers REIT with regulator after Embassy, Blackstone

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Financial services firm IIFL Holdings Ltd on Thursday said that it has registered a real estate investment trust (REIT) with the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

REITs are entities that primarily invest in leased office and retail assets, allowing developers to raise funds by selling completed, rent-yielding buildings to investors.

“We would like to inform you that IIFL Holdings Ltd sponsored Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) namely IIFL Real Estate Investment Trust has received certificate of registration from Sebi to undertake REIT activities,” the firm said in a stock exchange filing.

IIFL did not disclose details about its plans.

With its plans to launch REITs, IIFL joins real estate developers and investors such as Embassy Group and Blackstone Group Lp, who have planned to raise capital through this route.

In January, Bloomberg reported that Embassy and Blackstone are likely to launch India’s first REIT, with the filing of the draft prospectus expected by June.

Embassy had registered its real estate investment trust with Sebi in July 2017, making it the first such realty trust in the country to be accorded registration by the market regulator. Embassy Office Parks, which includes a clutch of leading office parks, namely Embassy Manyata Business Park and Embassy Golf Links in Bengaluru, is an investment partnership between Embassy Group and global investor Blackstone Group Lp.

Last year, Mint reported that another real estate developer RMZ Corp. had started the process of selecting investment banks to manage its initial public offering (IPO) for its proposed real estate investment trust (REIT).

IIFL, through its wealth and asset management business IIFL Investment Managers, manages several investments in real estate, across commercial and residential real estate properties.

In November, Mint reported that IIFL Investment Managers had launched its latest real estate debt fund with a target corpus of almost $500 million. The latest fund, a credit fund, focuses on the affordable housing space. IIFL Investment Managers has raised close to ₹4,700 crore since 2012 across various real estate funds under Sebi’s alternative investment fund (AIF) regime.

AIFs have been a big area of focus for IIFL Investment Managers, which across its wealth and asset management businesses manages over Rs1.3 trillion in assets. Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax owns a 35.49% stake in IIFL Holdings Ltd, the parent of IIFL Investment Managers.

Shares of IIFL Holdings closed the day at ₹690.6 per share on the BSE, up by 1.68%, while the benchmark Sensex closed at 35,463.08 points, up by 0.81%.

This article was first published on livemint.com.