Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Unitech Scraps S’pore Reit

Source : TODAY, Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The move follows Indiabull’s poor IPO performance

IN A sign of the times, a second Indian real estate firms is having cold feet about listing in Singapore in light of the weak stock market.

India’s second-biggest property firm, Unitech, has scrapped plans to list a US$600 million ($824 million) real estate investment trust here.

Its big rival, DLF, which is India’s biggest developer, did likewise in March, announcing it would delay its listing plans.

However, Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust went ahead and listed last week, only to be disappointed.

It raised less than what was hoped for in the IPO despite extending its offer deadline by a day in hope of attracting more retail investors. Its units then dropped 10 per cent on their debut last week and then needed to be supported by the IPO manager Deutsche Bank on day two of trading.

All these, despite the trust being backed by billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world’s richest men.

Instead of listing in Singapore, Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra says his firm will seek US$300 million from private equity firms to build hotels and shopping malls in India this year.

Unitech said yesterday it had sold a 50 -per-cent stake in a Mumbai project to Lehman Brothers Holdings’s real estate fund for US$175 million.

Mr Chandra did not say when or whether the Singapore trust listing may be revived.

As of last week, 12 of the 15 new shares listing in Singapore this year were trading below their offer price.

The last firm to scrap its listing plans was Grand Pacific Properties earlier this month.

However, it’s not all bad news. Last week, it was reported that China-based New Century Shipbuilding plans to raise up to US$1 billion ($1.4 billion) in a Singapore initial public offering (IPO). This would be Singapore’s biggest IPO of the year to date. — Agencies

No comments: