News & Views on Indian Real Estate

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Realty stocks bear the brunt of the fall

Shares of real estate firms were the worst hit on Friday after concerns of a liquidity crunch in the business drove the sectoral index, the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) realty index, down nearly one-fourth.
Shares of Unitech Ltd, India’s second largest developer by market value, fell by a record 51.29% to close at Rs30.10 each after intra-day trading took it down to an all-time low of Rs26.60.
Bangalore-based real estate developer Puravankara Projects Ltd, which saw its shares closing 44.32% lower, also touched a record low of Rs42.20 in day trade.
“People are concerned about cash provisions and where will real estate companies get money from,” said Sandeep Mathew, an analyst at BNP Paribas Securities in Mumbai.
An analyst with a domestic brokerage firm, who did not want his or his employer’s name to be used, said, “...people are exiting at any price because there are no buyers for realty stocks”.
There is an aversion towards real estate stocks among “investors (who) are now shifting from net asset value-based valuation to cash flows of the company”, he added.
Shares of DLF Ltd, the largest developer in the country, shed 23.96% to close at Rs203.90. Parsvnath Developers Ltd fell by 20.70% to close at Rs45.20.
BSE’s benchmark index, the Sensex, shrank 10.96% while BSE’s realty index, which consists of 14 real estate stocks, fell by 562.31 points or, 24.4%.
“Real estate stocks have been correcting mainly because developers have not reduced home prices despite a slowdown in sales,” said another analyst with a domestic brokerage firm. “In Unitech’s case, the stock has corrected because the company is heavily leveraged.”

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