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India, UAE Companies in Deals Worth More Than 30 Billion Dlrs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NEW DELHI (AFP) -Indian and United Arab Emirates firms signed deals worth more than 30 billion dollars Monday during a visit by the ruler of Dubai, including plans to build two massive townships in India.

India’s largest real estate developer DLF said it inked a 20 billion dollar deal with UAE’s Al Nakheel to build two townships in India, with an initial investment of five billion dollars each in the next three years.

“We have signed a 50:50 joint venture with Al Nakheel to develop integrated townships with an investment of 20 billion dollars,” said a DLF executive, who asked not be named ahead of a formal announcement.

The executive, speaking on the sidelines of meetings with Indian business leaders by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, said the townships would be full-sized cities covering 40,000 acres (16,200 hectares) of land, of which 70 percent has already been bought.

A press conference to announce the deal will be held at 4:00 pm (1030 GMT).

Separately, India’s Hinduja Group, majority-owned by the London-based Hinduja brothers, said it signed a 12-billion dollar deal with Nakheel to develop property in Dubai.

In another agreement, the Hindujas signed a joint venture with UAE’s real estate group Limitless to develop real estate for medical facilities with an initial investment of one billion dollars.

“Half a dozen lands have already been acquired for this project,” group chairman A.P Hinduja told AFP.

The agreements were part of a string of business deals signed by companies from the two countries during the UAE leader’s visit at the head of a large business delegation.

Details of other deals were not immediately available.

In January, DLF said it had filed a new and downsized initial share sale offer with the India stockmarket regulator almost six months after investors balked at its plan to raise three billion dollars for its ambitious expansion programme.

DLF said instead it would raise 100 billion rupees (2.2 billion dollars) via an initial public offer sometime in 2007, down from the 130 billion rupees of shares it originally proposed to sell in August 2006.

The August share sale plan was withdrawn after major investment banks said the company’s plans were unrealistic. New Delhi-based DLF will sell 10.1 percent of the firm, or 175 million shares, to fund the construction of hotels and free-trade zones.