* 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 (Reuters) - 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 invest.”
“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 developers.
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 Williams)