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Donald Trump says optimism returning to India under Modi

US property tycoon Donald Trump praised India's new prime minister on Tuesday (Aug 12), saying foreign investors were returning to the country after years of slowing economic growth.

MUMBAI: US property tycoon Donald Trump praised India's new prime minister on Tuesday (Aug 12), saying foreign investors were returning to the country after years of slowing economic growth.

The developer and television star predicted that "money will pour into India" as he briefed journalists on a new luxury apartment block in Mumbai dubbed "Trump Tower". "I have not met him, but your new PM has done a fantastic job of bringing people together," he told the journalists in India's financial capital.

Narendra Modi swept to power this year on a pledge to jolt the country from the economic doldrums. He won support from across India and particularly among the young, who were attracted to his record as a business-friendly administrator during his 13 years running Gujarat as chief minister.

"The perception about India has changed. The optimism is returning," said Trump. "You can see it in our sales. We are selling units more than our own expectations." The building's promoters say they have sold nearly 100 apartments in the tower, which occupies prime real estate in the city.

"In my opinion, real estate prices in Mumbai are incredibly low because there are so many other places, cities, countries where you will find prices that are way too high," said Trump.

With prices that start at 90 million rupees (US$1.48 million), the new apartments are way out of the reach of most of the city's inhabitants, nearly 40 per cent of whom live in slums.

Since January, foreign investors have poured US$26 billion into Indian debt and equities, more than three times the figure for the same period last year.

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