Laborers work on an Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd. commercial building construction site in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

No. 1 Developer Sees India Cash Crunch Toppling Weaker Peers

(Bloomberg) -- India’s largest listed property developer expects many of its smaller peers to go belly-up as creditors cut financing after a shock default.

“Weaker balance sheets are going to fall off, while large listed developers will get though current liquidity crisis,” Saurabh Chawla, outgoing chief financial officer of DLF Ltd., said in a phone interview.

Smaller developers have already been struggling amid a slump in apartment sales and prices over the past two years. Now, they are also finding it tougher to access the bond markets as investors become more cautious about default risks after the shock failure by Infrastructure & Leasing Financial Services Ltd. Larger real estate companies are paring assets to get through the crisis.

Chawla, who worked with the developer for 12 years, is resigning as CFO of the company, a Dec. 13 exchange filing showed.

By the Numbers

  • Indian developer rupee bond sales dropped last month to a four-year low of 2.49 billion rupees ($35 million)
  • That was down from 18.28 billion rupees in the same month last year, according to Bloomberg data
  • Dwindling sales may make it harder for developers to repay $4.9 billion of debt that comes due in 2019

Bigger is Better For Tiding Over

  • Top developers including DLF, Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd. and Lodha Developers Ltd. have been selling their rent-yielding assets or other developed projects to raise funds and pare debt
  • That’s harder for smaller developers. Ones like Nirmal Lifestyle Realty Ltd. and Omkar Realtors & Developers Ltd. have been seeking to partner with larger companies to finish projects

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.