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- Seems trouble is brewing.
India Ratings & Research has maintained a negative to stable outlook on the real estate sector for 2014-15 on the back of continued weak end-user demand and adverse consumer sentiments.
Real estate companies have been facing falling unit sales, flat revenue and EBITDA margins and continued deterioration in credit metrics and cash flows, the rating agency said.
Most of real estate companies rated the agency have a stable outlook, as the risks impacting the sector have been factored into their ratings. The entities rated at investment grade are either single commercial properties with long-term lease agreements or residential companies with healthy sales and strong cash flows.
The rating agency believes credit metrics will continue to deteriorate in FY15, as high residential prices continue to impact sales, even while rising bank credit to the sector indicates an increase in inventory for the sector.
The sale of fresh residential units (in sq.ft.) by listed real estate companies has seen a downward trend in the first half of 2013-14. This is due to weak consumer sentiments and low real estate affordability due to high prices.
Prices continue to remain high despite the weak end-user demand, as demand from investors and speculators could have been lifted by the government's efforts to curtail gold imports.
The upward movement seen in National Housing Bank's house price index in 2QFY14 after a fall in the previous two quarters supports this argument, as it coincides with the imposition of import duty on gold.
Ind-Ra expects subdued commercial property demand to continue in 2014, due to the continued slow economic growth which will impact fresh hiring in most sectors. Demand for retail space is also likely to remain muted in FY15, as retail companies continue to optimise their store portfolios.
The real estate sector has seen strong interest from private equity and foreign investors. During 2013, strong investor interest was seen in rent-yielding commercial properties with conclusion of several large transactions by leading private equity players such as Blackstone.
Ind-Ra expects the introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) to be positive for the sector, as it is likely to attract new investors and hence improve funding availability. As these REITs are likely to invest most of their funds into rent-yielding commercial properties, this could provide further liquidity options to commercial property developers, it said.
- Mahindra to shut factories to cope with slowdown
NEW DELHI: Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will stop production across its automotive plants for up to three days this month to adjust output to the slowdown in the auto market.
"The company, as part of aligning its production with sales requirements, would be observing no production days at the company's automotive plants for 1-3 days during the remaining period of January 2014," M&M said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, would also be observing no production days at Chakan plant for up to three days this month, the filing said. "The management does not envisage any adverse impact on availability of vehicles in the market due to adequacy of vehicle stocks to serve the market requirements," it said.
Mahindra to shut factories to cope with slowdown - The Times of India
Apart from this, the latest results from India's biggest housing finance bank :- HDFC was declared few days back. The NPAs have risen by 24%.CommentQuote0Flag
- IT companies have adapted to tough times – it’s time those in other sectors did as well
The December quarter numbers of Indian software firms confirm that IT is one of the few sectors to have emerged stronger from the economy-wide turbulence. Leading IT firms are expected to close this fiscal with a profit growth of 30 per cent as against about 7 per cent for other Nifty companies. Other industries, particularly those used to blaming policy paralysis for all their woes, may do well to learn from their IT peers about being nimble-footed in a changing business environment.
The software sector’s recent run is not just the offshoot of a weak rupee. Many IT companies, by using hedging contracts to lock into fixed exchange rates for their revenues, have chosen predictability over windfall gains from depreciation for several quarters now. Also, it is not as if IT firms have been insulated from the economic downturn. They have faced varied challenges — the implosion in the global banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space, sharp cutbacks in global IT spends, debt ceiling worries in the US and looming bankruptcies in Europe, and more. They have met these without having to drastically re-invent their basic outsourcing model; rather, they have made tactical changes to their operations to keep clients interested. So, when global belt-tightening robbed them of pricing power, Indian IT firms sacrificed profit margins while reworking internal cost structures and wage bills. When the North America-BFSI focus proved risky, they bid aggressively for new manufacturing, social media and infrastructure deals and diversified into Europe. This diversification is now paying off, with a new wave of outsourcing deals being won. Even as India Inc in general has clamoured for tax sops to tide over the current slowdown, IT companies have quietly taken the withdrawal of export tax exemptions in their stride.
Of course, there are still worries — notably the proposed US Immigration Bill that seeks to restrict H1B visas and mandate higher pay for immigrant staff. The legislation, if implemented in full, could pose a fundamental threat to the low-cost offshoring model that has worked well for Indian IT firms. But they seem prepared for this too: many companies are cutting back on entry-level hires and engaging overseas-only specialised staff capable of delivering better productivity. This trend is something that should worry our policymakers more than the software firms. For too long, the government has looked to IT firms to create jobs in organised sector. But with these companies now increasingly hiring globally, the Indian engineering graduate has to earn the coveted software job on the basis of his skill-sets rather than currency arbitrage. All the more reason why the government needs to work together with the IT industry in creating a domestic talent pool that could power the latter’s second coming.
IT companies have delivered improved results from adapting nimbly to changed business circumstances – a valuable lesson for other industries.
(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 23, 2014)CommentQuote0Flag
- Slump-hit Tata Motors offers VRS to some staff
Hurt by a prolonged slowdown in the auto market, Tata Motors will offer voluntary retirement to a section of employees as it looks to rationalise costs. Managing director Karl Slym said he was looking to ensure a suitable structure.
“The industry as well as India is going through a rather protracted downturn. Therefore, there are lots of things out there to enable us ensure our structure is suitable. Voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) allows those people to move on with our support,” Slym said at an event in New Delhi. He put the number as “very minor”.
Company sources told this paper that the company was targeting “at least 800 employees from various departments” to offer VRS. They said the company had been laying off white-colour and blue-colour employees at its largest manufacturing facility at Pimpri, near Pune, since last July. “Non-performers were the first casualty,” the sources told Financial Chronicle.
Among those who were given pink slips at Pimpri included a general manager from the production department, an assistant general manager from the production and maintenance department and others.
Facing continuous decline in sales across product categories, the company has also frozen hiring on permanent rolls, which stood at less than about 15,000 in Pune facility.
“Out of the 7,000 temporary workers hired only for five months on rotation, about 3,500 were terminated. Many were told not to come to work even when they had 15-20 days of employment left,” the source said. Production of both passenger cars and commercial vehicles has been cut by 50 per cent due to the slowdown.
The sources said the country’s largest auto maker by revenues and the world’s fifth largest truck manufacturer was forced to reduce the work force to cut cost and reduce inventory across product portfolio in the face of continuous decline in sales. Last year, it had reduced workforce at the Pantnagar plant by over 1,200.
Slym said a revival in the commercial vehicles market is unlikely in the next 12 months. The CV market is 50 per cent of what it was two years ago and this is the longest downturn the industry has witnessed, he said.
Slump-hit Tata Motors offers VRS to some staff | mydigitalfc.comCommentQuote0Flag
- Govt cost cutting leads to more bad loans for banks
Liquidity in the banking system may continue to be tight for the rest of the current financial year, thanks to the government cutting spending to meet the fiscal target. It may also lead to accretion of bad loans as government agencies will halt payments to companies.
The bigger companies can withstand delayed payments, though the stress is beginning to be felt. Loans to the smaller mid-sized firms are already turning non-performing assets (NPAs).
Nomura in its report said, “We see these cuts having two key implications. First, a rising government cash balance will tighten banking system liquidity in Q1 of 2014. Second, growth in government spending should slow to 5.6 per cent year on year in December–March from 17.7 per cent in April-November, which will likely hurt growth. Lower government spending and weak investment demand contribute to our view that GDP growth will remain in the 4.5-5 per cent range until Q2 of 2014.”
Govt cost cutting leads to more bad loans for banks | mydigitalfc.comCommentQuote0Flag
- A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
Get ready for the next era in retail—one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores.
On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It's the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy's.
Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.
Experts said these headlines are only the tip of the iceberg for the industry, which is set to undergo a multiyear period of shuttering stores and trimming square footage.
Shoppers will likely see an average decrease in overall retail square footage of between one-third and one-half within the next five to 10 years, as a shift to e-commerce brings with it fewer mall visits and a lesser need to keep inventory stocked in-store, said Michael Burden, a principal with Excess Space Retail Services.
"Stores are making a long-term bet on technology," said Belus Capital Advisors analyst Brian Sozzi. "It simply doesn't make strategic sense to enter a new 15-year lease as consumers are likely to continue curtailing physical visits to the mall."
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Sozzi said that after a profitable but below-expectations holiday season, the retail industry will face its second "tsunami of store closures across the U.S.," only a few years after what he called the "fire sale holiday season of 2008."
During the recession, the number of shopping center vacancies rose by 5.5 percentage points to 11 percent, according to ICSC data, and has since recovered only 2.1 percentage points.
In addition to J.C. Penney—which announced last week that it will close 33 stores—there are about a dozen retailers that still have too many stores, Sozzi said. Among them: American Eagle, which needs to move some of its aerie lingerie locations into its main stores; Aéropostale, which is on track to close 175 stores over the next few years; and Wal-Mart, which has about 100 stores in the U.S. producing same-store sales declines deeper than 3 percent, Sozzi said.
As for Penney's, Wells Fargo analyst Paul Lejuez said that its store closures are a step in the right direction, but they barely scratch the surface of how many are needed.
"With mall traffic trends very challenging and J.C. Penney facing its own significant company-specific issues, we do not believe a 1,000-plus store fleet is appropriate," Lejuez said in a research note. "In our view, the company needs to close several hundred stores to operate more efficiently, but that is not easy to accomplish overnight."CommentQuote0Flag
- One big shift in store closings has come from retailers shying away from indoor malls, instead favoring outlet centers, outdoor malls or stand-alone stores.
"There's no question that mall stores are closing quicker than open air, as far as the department stores.CommentQuote0Flag
- Rising Bad Loans Pose a Threat for India
MUMBAI—Bad loans in India have jumped to a record high, hurting profits and stocks of state-owned banks and threatening to curb lending in Asia's third-largest economy.
With India's expansion slowing to a decade low and higher interest rates taking hold, companies are struggling to pay back what they have borrowed after a credit binge in recent years.
As a percentage of total loans, non-performing assets at Indian banks climbed to 4.2% in September, up from 2.4% in 2009, according to the latest data available from India's central bank. Analysts expect the ratio to rise as high as 5.7% in the next four months. (This means a jump of 140%)
The central bank also announced a list of measures last month for monitoring and containing loans turning sour. It has proposed that banks start reporting struggling borrowers earlier and punishing more borrowers for late payments.
Much more needs to be done, though, analysts say. The country is stuck in a painful slowdown. Growth in gross domestic product is expected to be less than 5% in the year ending in March, a sharp decline from more than 9% just three years ago.
India is coming off a lending boom that was partly powered by cash turning to emerging markets over the past few years as investors sought higher yields. That drove down borrowing costs and added liquidity to the financial system. Now with domestic interest rates rising to curb inflation just as growth slows, an increasing number of borrowers are struggling to pay back what they owe to the banks.
"Banks need to own up to the problems," said Saswata Guha, director of Indian financial institutions of Fitch Ratings. "Bad loans are an economic reality but at this level and at this pace, something needs to be addressed over and above the economic environment."
Indian banks may be understating their bad loans, analysts said. Data from Crisil Ratings, a Standard & Poor's company, showed that Indian banks by the end of September had restructured outstanding loans of more than 3 trillion rupees of private companies facing difficulty in repaying loans. Restructuring means they forego the interest or defer repayments for a certain period to help borrowers get back on their feet.
Some analysts argue that the practice only postpones the pain and many of these restructured loans will eventually turn bad and should be classified as such. If restructured assets are included, the loans under stress in India more than doubles to 9.2% of the total loans, according to calculations by Crisil Ratings.
Indian banks will need more than 10 times the amount the government is planning to inject this fiscal year if they want to survive and thrive, said Dhananjay Sinha, head of research at Mumbai-based brokerage Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd. "The clock is ticking for Indian banks."
Rising Bad Loans Pose a Threat for India - WSJ.comCommentQuote0Flag
- Realty runs into NPA hurdle
The extent of outstanding loans in the housing segment surged by 15.4 per cent to Rs 4.75 lakh crore.
Hundreds of such new defaults and auctions have started haunting borrowers and lenders alike, indicating that the housing loan segment is not immune to the general slowdown across the country and the situation could take a turn for a worse. In fact, the situation has deteriorated in the real estate segment with loans amounting to an estimated Rs 7,700 crore tied to commercial and residential properties loans are up for sale, according to data compiled by NPAsource.com, a portal that focuses on stressed assets.
Of this, there are as many as 2,200 units in the commercial category and around 11,000 units in the residential segment funded by banks and other financial institutions that have turned into non-performing assets (NPAs), which is why there are now on the block.
This comes at time when the gross NPAs in the financial system is set to rise 4.6 per cent to Rs 2.29 lakh crore by September 2014 from Rs 1.67 lakh crore or 4.2 per cent in September 2013, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its Financial Stability Report released last week.
According to the RBI, the total exposure of the banking sector to the real estate segment was Rs 9.33 lakh crore, a rise of 17.3 per cent in 2012-13. During that period, growth in credit to sensitive sectors almost doubled primarily on account of credit to real estate.
This expansion needs to be seen in light of the steep rise in housing prices in all tier I cities and several tier II cities over that year. The extent of outstanding loans in the housing segment surged by 15.4 per cent to Rs 4.75 lakh crore. Concerned over the rising loans in the realty, the RBI has already done thematic reviews of the banks’ exposure to the real estate sector.
Real estate experts blame investors — speculators who book flats in the initial stages and sell them later when building gets completed for a profit — for the surge in NPAs. The general belief is that genuine end-users rarely default on their loan repayment commitments. If figures released by the banks are any indication, luxury home buyers are not the major culprits as the average default is around Rs 55 lakh. However, industry sources said that defaults in the luxury segment in Mumbai and Delhi have started rising.
“As NPAs in the corporate sector continue to grow, there will be more commercial and residential properties coming up for auction. The slowdown in the realty market has further added to the woes of the lenders who will not be able to generate higher returns by selling these mortgaged properties,” said DK Jain, chairman, NPAsource.com.
Industry insiders say that real estate developers are defaulting in the timelines committed for giving possession and the buyers, mainly short term investors, are defaulting in payments.
“Investors are finding that it is really difficult to hold on to the property they have invested in, and repayment has become a major obstacle in this process. There are ultra-high-end defaulters, but the mid-segment is a cause for concern,” said Sahil Kapoor, assistant regional owner, RE/MAX India – Delhi/NCR, a property brokerage.
Investors came under pressure as sales to end customers slowed down due to various reasons like increase in the input costs, which was passed on to the buyers, increase in equated monthly instalments (EMIs) due to hike in interest rates and ban on subvention schemes by the RBI.
“Among buyers, investors are defaulting more than end-users in both ultra-high and mid segments since upward movement of the prices is very slow and there are very few buyers in the market even if they want to settle for less than the expected return on investment and exit. Since planned exits to end-users became unviable, these loans became NPAs,” said Om Chaudhry, chairman, Astrum Homes and CEO, Fire Capital Fund.
Realty runs into NPA hurdle | The Indian ExpressCommentQuote0Flag
- Forbes India Magazine - The Steady Rise of Pune's Kolte-Patil Developers
An optimistic article.
What about problems in Wagholi Project? Will it impact the bottom line?CommentQuote0Flag
- Wagholi project is now getting lot of praise from the famous pune RE news and promotion blog. Pathetic. .. looking at the way he has justified kolte patils actions. .CommentQuote0Flag
- Originally Posted by Sat234Wagholi project is now getting lot of praise from the famous pune RE news and promotion blog. Pathetic. .. looking at the way he has justified kolte patils actions. .
But if I am correct, Kolte Patil is now giving possession without CC/OC. This means that their logic that since OC is not there, possession is not being given falls flat.
Anyways, I don't have much insider info here as no one in my circle is looking at projects based in some tribal land (Wagholi, Kharadi, Hinjewadi etc.)
Btw, why is the owner of Amit Enterprises writing lot of articles on RE & how good is Pune RE on websites like moneycontrol, & newspaper like sakal ? Even today, he feels Ambegaon (where Bloomfield is located) is like Singapore. :D
Also, the TOI is publishing interviews of builders as articles rather than being written by their correspondent. Other aspect is that the 'Property Pages' which used to come with many newspapers have shrunk drastically in past 2 months.CommentQuote0Flag
- Construction to be top contributor to banks' bad loans: RBI
"Among the select seven sectors, construction is expected to have the highest NPA ratio of around 7.7% by March 2015 followed by iron & steel," the report said.
Banks have been battling huge rise in bad loans, or non-performing assets. State-owned banks are the worst hit when compared with their peers in the private sector space, and the trend is likely to continue till at least March 2015, as the stress test results show.
Net bad loans of 40 listed banks have jumped by 38%, or around Rs 35,424 crore, in the first six months of FY14, according to a study done by NPAsource.com, an Ahmadabad-based advisor. As on March 31, 2013, net NPAs were Rs 93,109 crore, which rose to Rs 1,28,533 crore as on September 30, 2013.
Construction to be top contributor to banks' bad loans: RBI - Economic TimesCommentQuote0Flag
- Why should I avoid Indian Real Estate in 2014?
You all know that a good investment is about the time you enter and exit. Do you agree? Yes, you should. Is this the right time to invest in Indian Real Estate? No. Let’s see why.
A good read :-
3 Reason to avoid Indian Real Estate in 2014CommentQuote0Flag
- The article is not bullish or bearish, it is childish :D
A person who has 20 Lakhs in hand and getting Rs.50,000per month in hand is not able to buy a flat in apartment as he wish. Do you think this price will sustain?
What does one thing have to do with another? Since when people started getting a permit to buy a flat anywhere after saving 20L and earning 50k per month?!CommentQuote1Flag