* Trump says election made India better place to invest
* In Mumbai to launch luxury residential apartment tower
* Real estate trust listing aimed at spurring investment
By Sumeet Chatterjee
MUMBAI, Aug 12 American real estate mogul Donald
Trump is planning "substantial investments" in the Indian
property and hotel sectors, betting on Prime Minister Narendra
Modi-led new government's efforts to revive the economic growth
and boost infrastructure.
"I do see India as a great place to invest, and I think the
election made that even better," said Trump, who was in India to
launch Trump Tower in Mumbai, his first project in the country's
financial capital, in collaboration with India's Lodha Group.
Trump was referring to the election in May that saw Modi
coming to office with a reputation as a business-friendly leader
and a pledge to revive the economy after the longest spell of
growth below 5 percent in a quarter of a century.
Trump has entered into a licensing pact with Lodha for Trump
Tower in Mumbai, a luxury residential tower that will offer its
residents indoor jacuzzi tubs and world-class concierge
services. He is yet to make an equity investment in the country.
"People are coming into India now that maybe would not have
prior to the election," Trump said. "We will make investments in
India, substantial investments in India. It's a great place to
"I don't know that I would have made that statement three,
four, five years ago. It was different."
High inflation and interest rates have deterred home buyers
in the past couple of years in Asia's third-largest economy,
slowing home sales and lowering profits for the country's
Home sales across the big Indian cities rose by 5 percent in
the June quarter from a year ago, compared with an 11 percent
rise in the same quarter two years ago, according to local
property research firm Liases Foras.
In a move to boost foreign investment in the sector, India
this month paved the way for the market listing of real estate
investment trusts, which will help debt-laden developers access
cheaper sources of funding.
Trump, whose property portfolio includes projects in South
Korea, Turkey and Dubai, in addition to hotels and skyscrapers
in the United States, said his Trump Organisation was also in
talks to invest in the hotel sector in India.
The billionaire entrepreneur and television personality did
not give details of his investment plans in India. He has
another project under development in the western Indian city of
Pune, which is also a licensing pact.
(Additional reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Alison