Top India homebuilder drops in debut after decade-long IPO wait

Shares of Mumbai-based company drops 13% amid high Covid case numbers

Published Tue, Apr 20, 2021 · 05:50 AM


SHARES of India's biggest homebuilder Macrotech Developers Ltd fell as much as 13 per cent in their long-awaited market debut on Monday.

Shares of the Mumbai-based company, formerly known as Lodha Developers Ltd, dropped to as low as 421.15 rupees (S$7.49), compared with the initial public offering (IPO) price of 486 rupees.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gauge was 2.6 per cent lower in early trading as daily Covid-19 infections in the nation continued to top previous highs.

Macrotech's 25 billion rupee IPO is the third-largest in a flurry of new listings in India this year amid a gush of liquidity from foreign investors and local retail traders.

Including Macrotech, 29 debutantes have raised about US$3 billion so far in 2021, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

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India's newest stocks have been performing well overall. The S&P BSE IPO Index, which tracks shares for two years after listing, has rallied 6.3 per cent this year, outperforming the little-changed Sensex.

The successful listing of Macrotech ends a more than decade-long effort to take the developer public, after previous attempts in 2009 and 2018 were shelved.

A global equity rout in mid-October 2018, caused by concerns about geopolitical tensions and rising interest rates, upended its plan to raise 55 billion rupees then.

Macrotech aims to use the funds from its IPO to help reduce its debt load by at least 15 billion rupees.

The company also plans to push ahead with asset sales to reduce net debt to 127 billion rupees from the 184 billion rupees it carried as at December, said chief executive officer Abhishek Lodha.

The oversubscribed IPO saw participation from institutional investors, including a unit of Nomura Holdings and the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.

Managers included Axis Capital, JPMorgan India and Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. BLOOMBERG


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