2012 is a Tougher Year for Fund Raising

Due to global issues, liquidity is becoming a problem. Though the phase is temporarily, the concern cannot be ruled out. Indian real estate sector is banking on the fact that change will take place and market will come out of the situation. The fact of the matter is that next 12 months and in fact 2012, does not look too bright for the sector.

The global debt worries have led to more and more uncertainty. In the last few months, the sector has been plagued by a potential liquidity squeeze. The situation is very unsettling and the fear is that we might end up looking at the year 2008 situation. It is certain that banks will get into selective lending with more strict verifications. In 2012, we are expecting that interest rates might get stabilized but disbursal of home loans will come down.

As RBI has been steadily increasing interest rates, debt for developers is becoming expensive. Also many banks are right now not keen to lend to real estate projects. Due to global uncertainty even private equity is cautious of investing in India. In fact, companies have started looking at alternative routes of fund raising. And many a deals are being done as structured debt deals hiding behind the facade of an equity structure.

In structured debt deals, the companies—investor and investee—sign two agreements. In the publicly announced agreement the investor—a PE or a VC fund—buys an equity stake in the company; and in the second contract they have buyback clause, which allows investee company to buy back its shares from the PE/VC fund at a price that will give the fund a return of about 20% per annum over the duration of the investment.

All signs currently suggest that 2012 would not be an easy year. As debt becomes more expensive and PE funds find it difficult to deploy cash due to global economic conditions, we would see higher number of structured deals taking place in 2012. Though these structured deals are being done, they have their share of problems. The problem is when the side-contracts are not honoured.

Residential Growth Sustains Prices, but Outlook’s Changed

The real estate market has witnessed more or less a stable pricing scenario in the last 03 quarters after seing a sharp increase in the 02 years that followed the subprime crisis of 2008.

A Delhi based research result for real estate, the volume growth in the residential segment has improved inspite the increase in the interest rates. This keeps the property prices at higher levels. The Chennai real estate market tops the chart with increase in demand from both commercial and residential segments.

However, the Mumbai market has witnessed a correction in the last 03 quarters due to a delay in project approvals. The outlook on future price trends is mixed. Also, a drop in property prices looks distant in cities with lower inventory. On the financial front, most real estate players have reported better results on the back of higher sales volume.

Real estaters normally have execution issues which impact their debt repayment schedules. To tackle such issues and achieve greater transparency, companies are focusing more on product positioning and improving project execution certainty. On the other hand, qualitative factors such as hassle-free land bank and developer’s goodwill in getting land approval will improve company positioning with customers.

Real Estate Firm To Raise Funds

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A Real Estate firm Embassy Developers is expected to generate over 513 million US Dollars as said by their Prospectus which was filed today. This will be done through an initial public offering of shares.

The draft is available on the Edelweiss website. The lead running managers for the issue are Nomura, UBS, Local Investment Bank and Citi.

The prospectus included that Embassy property is looking at pre-IPO placement of around 57 million shares for up to 11.75 billion rupees with certain investors. The retail investors may be offered a 5% discount on the issue price.

Though the time line is not yet been set.

The Indian companies have raised a lot of money through share sales by mid-June of FY10 from 56 issues which is higher than last year, as shown by the data collected by Thomson Reuters.

India has also asked bids to appoint 4 banks for managing a follow-on public offering in state-run Power grid Corp of India.

Yatra Capital to Increase Investment In India

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Euronext-listed company, Yatra Capital managed by Saffron Capital Advisors, an Indian Real Estate Private Equity fund has announced to invest around 20 million Euros in India in FY10. The company plans to invest the Rs 115 cr in two deals in the domestic sector of real estate. The company has as of now invested about Rs 916 cr in 13 projects which include 2 entity-level details.

The weighted average Yatra Equity Fund covers 27 million square feet spread over nine cities. They have sold or pre let over 3 million square feet across various projects.

The chairman and Co-Founder, Yatra Capital, Mr. Christopher Wright said, “In India, one needs to be very careful on Real Estate investments as the market is volatile. After a drop in 2008-09, the realty sector is now moving up. The Indian economy is growing well making people more confident on future investments. We have invested 44% in residential projects, which would be our focus area in future. We always look at investing in affordable residential projects in tier I and II cities.”

Yatra has invested in 90 cr Residential Project and 97 cr Market City Retail Project at Pune, 115 cr in Riverbank Holdings, 91 cr in forum IT parks and 23 cr in Taj gateway at Kolkata, 160 cr in market city at Bangalore and 57 cr at Nashik.

It has entered partnership with Phoenix Mills for 5 various projects across Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai.

A presentation by Yatra to investors in March this year said, “Most markets have seen positive traction due to price cuts. However, developers have now started raising prices especially in Mumbai and the National Capital Region which has led to a slowdown in sales. Projects where pricing is realistic continue to enjoy healthy absorptions. The monetary environment tightening may impact the fund raising environment for many real estate companies still out to raise money. Investor enthusiasm for participation in realty IPOs remains muted.”

IL&FS Plan To Invest In Real Estate

IL&FS private equity is planning to increase its investment in infrastructure and Real Estate sector by the end of FY10.

They announced to increase their investment from 660 million US dollars to 1 billion US dollars in the infrastructure sector. In the realty sector they already have investments of 1.6 billion US dollars. They are planning to take deals in both the sectors as well.

Mr Shahzad Dalal, Vice Chairman of IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd said, “We will invest close to a billion dollars in infrastructure as well by about the end of this financial year.”

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In the realty sector the firm has spent 1.2 billion US dollars from the total investment on over 30 deals. It is said that they are now looking at 10 more. The left over amount is expected to be deployed by the end of this year mainly in residential space along with commercial.

The company recently bagged a deal in the real-estate segment through IL&FS Milestone Fund in HCC’s Real-Estate project ‘247 Park’ for Rs 575 cr for a 74 per cent stake.

Mr Dalal further added, “The outlook is fairly bullish on both Real Estate and infrastructure. We believe there are a lot of opportunities. There may not be many good projects, but because of our reach and reputation, we do see some really good projects.”