Sobha Developer to Launch Projects in NCR and Chennai

Published: April 4, 2011

As Sobha Developers prepares to launch projects in new markets such as the National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai, it could look at monetising more land to raise funds, according to reports. J C Sharma, managing director of Sobha Developers said that finances for the new project launches have already been tied up but the company could resort to land sale if it fell short of funds. “We have already raised money for the projects. If additional funding is required, we will look into sale of land.”

S Bhaskaran, CFO, Sobha Developers, said the projects in NCR will be launched by May, while the Chennai projects will be launched in July-August. The monetisation would help the Bangalore-based real estate company to keep its debt at reasonable levels and bring down its average cost of borrowing further from the current 12.7 per cent.

Last fiscal, the company had sold a considerable portion of its 3,000-acre land bank to bring down the debt on its book. It has also brought down its average interest rate to 12.7 per cent in the current fiscal from 13 per cent last year. Sharma said the company was looking to further bring it down by 70 basis points (bps) in the next financial year to 12 per cent. “It (average interest cost) is on the higher side but we expect to pin it down in the next two quarters,” he said.

Sobha, which had a debt-equity ratio of 2:1 about a year-and-a-half back, has brought it down to 0.67:1 by improving its cash flow and monetising land. Sharma said the company is looking to bring it down further. In the last couple of months, Sobha has seen its price realisation trend up on better mix of properties, which has lately tilted towards luxury and super-luxury. The company’s average realisation at the end of February was at Rs 4,100 per square feet (sq ft) compared with Rs 3,946 per sq ft in the third quarter of 2010-11.

Source: Indian Realty News

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