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Global attention turns toward Indian Real Estate Market
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cushman & Wakefield, one of the world's largest property consultancy firms, said the real estate downturn in the US could continue and that India, China and the Middle-East will become even more attractive as these markets offer huge opportunities for investment.

The US-based property consultant also said that more financial institutions in the US and Europe are likely to face financial problems in the coming weeks.

In an interview, John C Cushman III, chairman of the board, Cushman & Wakefield said, "More bad news could come. We are facing new challenges everyday. Though there is a debate on whether this is a recession or not, in the coming months more bad things are waiting to happen."

He said, as a consequence, global attention will be on the real estate market in India and China as these markets are offering huge investment opportunities.

"India, with a GDP growth rate of 8% compared to less than 4% GDP growth in the US, is a more promising market in the world," he said. "We have three major nodes from where our revenue originates. They are the Greater New York region, Greater Los Angles and Asia. Within Asia, India has had a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37%," Mr Cushman, whose family founded the firm, said.

Cushman & Wakefield is majority owned by the Agnelli family, the owners of Fiat. Mr Cushman said the firm was keen to carry out "transformative acquisitions" in India, but declined to provide details.

Mr Cushman said the US crisis could spill over to other European countries and London will be an immediate victim as the city has emerged as the capital of financial services during the past years.

"I feel the US financial turmoil will have an impact on European countries and London will be under enormous pressure as it is the world capital of financial services," he said. According to him, countries like Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Canada and Czech Republic presented op-port unities. However, political risk in some of the former Soviet Republics was higher.

The global head of the real estate consultancy firm said that India is a very important market for the firm and it would operate in the entire real estate segment in the country.

"We want to extend our operations in India through both organic and inorganic routes. We are focused in the hospitality and retail segments, sectors which are offering expo-nential growth, and we want to enter into segments like house mortgage," Mr Cushman said.



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