Big realty firms are converting their proposed projects from malls to either residential apartments or commercial office space
High rental rates and scarcity of retail space in good locations are discouraging retailers from going ahead with their expansion plans. Existing unaffordable prices and sheer misbehaviour of real-estate developers are forming a roadblock to the growth of the organised retail industry in India.
According to retail industry experts, in the past couple of years, organised retail has only grown to 4% of the total retail market and the industry is still struggling to take it to higher levels. Despite huge investments by retailers, organised retail will not grow to 15% of the total retail market over the next five years. At best, it can reach 10% of the total market. On top of that, real-estate prices are hurting the bottom-line of retailers.
A few big realty firms like DLF Ltd and Indiabulls Group were supposed to develop new malls in Lower Parel (central Mumbai). But both of them have converted their projects from malls either into residential or commercial office space.
“There are many planned malls which have been converted either into residential or commercial office projects because retailers do not want to shell out such high rentals. Just 4–5 million sq ft of ready retail space is currently available for retailers. It has become difficult for retailers to get space in the right catchment,” said Govind Shrikhande, president and chief executive officer, Shoppers Stop Ltd.
You can find new retailers occupying retail space in various malls every two months; many spaces in malls also remain vacant due to high property prices in Mumbai. Retailers are looking for a minimum guarantee and revenue-share deals because during the first year when retailers are struggling to establish themselves in a certain location, they do not want to shell out heavy rentals.
“It is true that there are few properties in good locations currently available. We are mainly finalising deals with the combination of (a) minimum guarantee and revenue-share deals. By and large, most developers have agreed to this, because there is an upside for them also in this deal. It is a win-win deal for both developers and retailers,” said Thomas Varghese, CEO, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd.
Currently, rental prices in various malls in Mumbai range between Rs50-Rs600 per sq ft; Rs140-Rs200 per sq ft in Gurgaon; Rs130-Rs150 per sq ft in Noida and Rs350 per sq ft and above in Saket, New Delhi. In Bengaluru, retail real-estate prices vary between Rs60-Rs120 per sq ft.
“Real-estate prices in retail spaces in prime locations are not going to come down in the next six months. Only malls which are based at the outskirts of the metros will reduce rents — or convert them into office space or residential projects,” said Abhishek Kiran Gupta, head-Real Estate Intelligence Services, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.
As a consequence, there is no new retail space being developed. “Around 50 million sq ft of development is coming up in the next 24-36 months. Post that, we cannot see too much of retail space coming up. We are not able to see over-supply of property,” said Mr Shrikhande.
The MoU entails sharing research materials, publications, educational literature, demonstration material and information
The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) and United Stock Exchange (USE), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for exchange of information, consultation and co-operation, reports PTI.
The MoU entails sharing research materials, publications, educational literature, demonstration material and information, a press release issued in Mumbai stated.
It will also include the organisation of joint conferences, exhibitions and seminars and joint research programmes, the release said.
ICWAI president, G N Venkataraman, said that "the signing of the MoU with United Stock Exchange is an important platform to enhance and update knowledge of the financial market, a move which will be beneficial to both the parties."
As part of the on-going MoU, USE will conduct awareness programmes for members of ICWAI across the country.
These programmes will comprise seminars, workshops and research programmes in all major Indian towns and cities.
Trading membership would also be free for ICWAI members and other cross-section of investors till the launch of the exchange, the release said.
USE managing director & CEO, T S Narayanasami, said that "The aim of this MoU is to empower people with knowledge and develop skill-sets pertaining to financial markets and sophisticated instruments."
USE is the country's newest stock exchange for currency derivatives.
Experts feel that the quarter-on-quarter increase in the PE exits was driven by equity firms' profit booking on account of the significant recovery in the stock markets
Private equity (PE) firms have offloaded stakes worth $1.46 billion in the Indian companies during the April-June quarter this year, reports PTI.
Research firm VCCEdge says 30 PE firms have divested stakes worth $1.46 billion during April-June this year against 29 PE firms that disinvested $820 million in the same period last year.
Experts feel that the quarter-on-quarter increase in the PE exits was driven by equity firms' profit booking on account of the significant recovery in the stock markets.
SMC Capitals’ equity head Jagannadham Thunuguntla said the exited private equity firms were part of the investment wave that flooded the Indian market in 2006-07.
"Such investments generally have a time horizon of 3-5 years, so now was the right time to exit as the market has been sustaining at decent levels for almost a year and the investors could book profit at the current levels," he said.
However, he added, "going forward if the markets come under pressure as expected, the exits may go down as bringing initial public offers will not be possible in the weak market."
Some of the top private equity exits last quarter included Symphony Capital Partners Ltd, which divested $694 million from DLF Assets Ltd, WL Ross & Co that sold stake worth $127 million from SpiceJet and Saif Partners that disinvested $124 million from Intelligroup Inc, VCCEdge report said.
Value Research Online CEO Dhirendra Kumar says market fluctuations due to the euro-crisis have led PE investors to lose confidence, wherein they preferred to exit investments in the Indian companies.
He nonetheless added, "There is a normalisation in the market and the valuations have picked up."
Out of the 30 PE firms that exit during the period under review, 15 took the public market sales route, nine exited via merger and acquisition, three by secondary sales and two made their way out with buyback option.
Only one firm chose the primary market route of exiting via an initial public offer (IPO) as firms are still sceptical on the company valuation offered in the process.