February 24, 2017 / 10:23 PM / 7 months ago

Canadian pension fund manager looks at logistics investment in India

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The real estate arm of Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager is looking at India’s logistics sector following the announcement this week of its first investment in the country for more than six years, President Daniel Fournier said on Friday.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate unit of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, announced a $250 million residential investment in India on Thursday, the first in the country since Fournier was put in charge of the division in 2010.

“We’re starting with multi-residential opportunities, so let’s see where it takes us,” Fournier said in an interview on the sidelines of a media conference at the Caisse in Montreal.

“Logistics ... could be the next one.”

India’s real estate logistics sector, which includes warehouses, distribution centres and other services, is being fueled by the production of automotive components, textiles and pharmaceuticals, according to a research report by the real estate investment firm JLL.

Export and import cargo is expected to grow to 2,800 million metric tonnes by 2020, the report said.

Services like warehousing are also in demand to support the country’s fast-growing e-commerce sector. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has forecast Indian e-commerce will surge to $220 billion in value of goods sold by 2025 from about $11 billion in 2015, outpacing growth in bricks-and-mortar retail.

Fournier said he wanted to take time to learn the Indian market and find the right partner before making large investments in the country.

“For us it’s going to be a very important market,” he said.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, which has C$56 billion ($42.76 billion) in assets, last year bought into LOGOS Property Group, an Australian logistics real estate specialist. Ivanhoe Cambridge plans to work with LOGOS on investments across Asia, he said.

Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Bill Rigby

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