By Gilbert Kreijger
AMSTERDAM, July 16 (Reuters) - Dutch property manager ING Real Estate plans to invest in India and Turkey and infrastructure in Europe and the Americas to meet demand and benefit from relatively high returns, its chief executive said.
"We are trying to get a foothold in India. Turkey is also interesting," ING Real Estate CEO George Jautze told Reuters in a recent interview.
The real estate unit of financial services group ING Group ING.AS, which managed 94.4 billion euros ($130.2 billion) in property globally as of March 31, plans to invest 0.5 to 1 billion euros in these two countries by early 2008, he said.
Jautze said returns in India and Turkey are expected to be higher than the 4-7 percent generated in western Europe and North America. Increased demand from customers is another reason for ING Real Estate's expansion into these two markets.
"We want to participate in markets that grow. This is also a reason why we started investing in Scandinavia in 2005 and central Europe in 1993. We have been in China since the early 1990s," he said.
ING Real Estate, which last year bought Canada's listed Summit Real Estate Investment Trust, does not plan to take over local companies in India or Turkey, Jautze said.
The company is also eyeing investments in western Europe and the Americas via its Atlas Infrastructure Fund, set up earlier this year, Jautze said.
"This is the market where investors want to be now. We should think of returns between 12 and 14 percent on infrastructure projects," Jautze said.
ING Real Estate would not quickly make investments in eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Russia as they lacked sufficient availability of investment grade property, transparency, and a stable legal system, Jautze said.
((Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; editing by Paul Bolding; firstname.lastname@example.org; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com; +31 20 504 5007))
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