Indiabulls, Unitech put Singapore REIT IPOs on hold

Written by Reuters | Mumbai, March 14: | Updated: Mar 14 2008, 15:17pm hrs
Indian developers Indiabulls Real Estate and Unitech Ltd have put their plans for initial public offers of their real estate investment trusts in Singapore on hold because of volatile markets, officials said on Friday.

Larger rival DLF Ltd might also delay its plans for a Singapore RIET listing, a source told Reuters earlier this week.

"Our bankers have advised us to wait and watch till the markets stabilise," said R. Nagaraju, general manager of corporate planning at Unitech, which had planned to raise about $500 million from the IPO.

"There is no point in going into the market now. Once the markets stabilise, we will make a decision," he said.

Unitech and Indiabulls Real Estate had received approval for the IPOs, the Business Standard paper reported on Friday, adding the two companies were now exploring private placements.

Nagaraju declined comment on the placement, while an official at Indiabulls Real Estate said "all options were open".

"The first option was obviously the REIT. But we will wait till the markets stabilise for that," said Ajit Mittal, head of investor relations.

Indiabulls Real Estate was expected to raise about $1 billion from the IPO, bankers have said.

A source said on Thursday that DLF might delay a planned IPO in Singapore of its REIT and instead opt for a private placement to raise about $500 million.

DLF, India's most valuable property firm, had planned to raise $1.5 billion from the Singapore listing.

Volatile markets have seen more than $23 billion in global IPO plans postponed or withdrawn, according to Thomson Financial.

Indian developers, hit by soaring land costs and curbs on bank loans, are looking to tap REITs, which are not yet allowed in India, although draft guidelines for them were issued in December.