ORIENT GLOBAL BUYS STAKE IN HDIL & INDIABULLS REALTY ARM

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SINGAPORE-based private equity (PE) fund Orient Global has invested over Rs 100 crore to buy stakes in HDIL and Indiabulls Real Estate (IRE) through open market acquisitions. The fresh investments have come despite the uncertainty over the prospects of the construction and real estate sectors, which are currently reeling under the pressure of high borrowing cost and softening property prices.

Confirming the foreign fund’s secondary market purchases in the group’s real estate arm, Indiabulls group spokesperson Gagan Banga said, “It is a pure investment call which demonstrates the investor’s confidence in the company”. Orient Global has also invested in other group companies, including Indiabulls Financial Services, in which it held a 2.2% stake as on September 30 ‘08.

Orient Global Cinnamon Capital bought 43.5 lakh shares, or 1.7% of IRE’s equity capital, through a bulk deal on the NSE. The Rs 55-crore deal was transacted at a price of Rs 125.6 per share, while the stock crashed nearly 13% to Rs 119.5. It, in fact, has plunged 47% in one month, against a 27% fall in the Sensex. Apart from generally choppy market conditions, analysts also attributed the sharp fall in the share price to the company’s unimpressive second quarter earnings. IRE has recorded a 70% decline in its standalone net profit to Rs 6.9 crore even though the total income rose 33% to Rs 50 crore during July-September ‘08.

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