Bangalore, known as the silicon capital of the country, has joined the global network of World Trade Centres with the establishment of a World Trade Centre, a global hub for international business in the city.

The Bangalore-based leading developer Brigade Group, on Wednesday announced that it has obtained license from World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) to classify and manage their one million square feet office tower here as the World Trade Centre (WTC).

With this, Bangalore becomes the second city in the country to have a WTC with the first being located in Mumbai and joins the global network of World Trade Centers currently located in 100 countries.

The WTCA, headquartered in New York city, was established in 1970 as a non-profit organisation to promote growth of international trade by establishing WTCs throughout the world.

“A World Trade Centre is a symbol of International Trade Services like trade information, global networking with WTC clubs, exhibit facilities, consulting services, administrative support, export/import assistance, teleconferencing facilities, translation/interpretation, trade mission office service,” Robert J Frueh, Director of Member Services, World Trade Centres Association told reporters here.

A WTC certification is awarded after rigorous assessment and scrutiny by the WTCA, whose primary objective is to promote prosperity through trade, he said. One of the criteria for the certification was it shares the vision for global trade and have the support of the community.

The WTC was expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2011, said M R Jaishankar, Chairman and MD of Brigade Group.

Mr. Jaishankar said it would take a call on going in for a qualified institutional placement (QIP) “at an opportune time.”

“We will come out with a QIP at the opportune time and subject to the right market conditions,” he said.

The company plans to raise Rs. 750 crore through the QIP for its projects and land banks and would hopefully take a call on it by the end of the year, he said.

“Right now the there is no great appetite for real estate share,” he said which was evident by the fact though some firms had not come up with issues despite SEBI clearances.

The company was also in talks with Private Equity partners for sale of stakes in two of its projects, “The talks are on but it is not at the advanced stage.” Currently, they were in talks with two—three PE partners, he said.

The company might even look at scaling down the QIP of Rs. 750 crores by 30 to 40 per cent if it is able to get the right private equity partners, he said.

The dilution of stake would be in the range of 25 to 50 per cent for each of its project.

Commenting on real estate prices, he said that there already had been a jump of 30 to 40 per cent demand in South India following economic recovery. He expected prices to go up by 10 to 15 per cent in the next couple of months.

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