Morgan Stanley Real Estate said on Tuesday it has tied up with the Hyderabad-based Aparna group for a high-end housing and commercial development project in the southern Indian city.

They said the 50:50 venture would develop Aparna Laketown' in Nalagandla, Hyderabad, covering 12 million square feet (1.1 million square meters).

"This would include an integrated retail and entertainment complex and a branded hotel," Morgan Stanley said in a statement without giving investment details.

Global investment banks and private equity firms continue to be bullish on India's burgeoning housing and retail sectors.

Private equity giant Blackstone, brokerage Goldman Sachs, US-based General Electric and New York real estate investment fund Trinity Capital LLC have also unveiled plans totalling billions of dollars to invest in Indian property.

Last month, Merrill Lynch's private equity real estate fund invested 377 million dollars in housing developments by India's largest real estate company, DLF.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate has already invested 76 million dollars in Bangalore-based Mantri Developers and a further 152 million dollars in Oberoi Construction in Mumbai.

Morgan Stanley operates as an independent banking and financial services firm in India after breaking away from the local J M Financial group earlier this year.

In June, Morgan Stanley Real Estate funds raised eight billion dollars from institutional and retail investors across the world.

The Aparna group has completed premium apartment, middle-income housing and office block projects and is currently working on developments totalling 7.5 million square feet.

-Economic Times (4th Dec, 2007)
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