September 03, 2007

Plaza Centers to Invest 50 Billion Rupees in India

Plaza Centers NV, the developer of malls controlled by Israel's Elbit Medical Imaging Ltd., plans to invest 50 billion rupees ($1.2 billion) in India to build entertainment and commercial centers.

Plaza will develop 50 properties in five to seven years, the Amsterdam-registered company said in a statement in Mumbai today. The company will construct the malls in cities such as Bangalore and Pune.

Plaza is investing in real estate India market as economic growth puts more money in the hands of Indians, fuelling demand for shopping malls and entertainment centers. The country's real-estate development market is forecast to increase to $90 billion by 2015 from $12 billion in 2005, Moody's Investors Service said in June, citing market estimates.

Earlier this year, Plaza acquired 50 percent of a development in the Kharadi district of Pune, Maharashtra, for an unspecified amount. The 14-acre site will be developed into a mall, offices and apartments, costing $175 million to build. Plaza also bought a 50 percent stake in a six-acre site in Koregaon Park, Pune, which is being developed at a cost of about $90 million.