Tuesday, April 08, 2008

PE gets a knock, SEBI has remorse

Well, there it is. PE deals decline sequentially. [ $3.3 billion mopped up through 97 deals in the March 2008 quarter were lower than 131 deals totaling $5 billion in the December 2007 quarter]. The report cites weak market conditions for the thaw. But there is another reason that it masks – PE portfolios are beginning to look “sinful” exposing callous fund management. The reversals have been dramatic. Recognizing old fashioned due diligence, PE firms are now all the more wary of churning out “weekly” term sheets. Seems they've realized it is not about blind betting on market sentiments, not just about investing other people’s money (OPM) ; it’s also about delivering superior returns. It’s clearly not about letting limited partners grieve!

SEBI on its part has done some self appraisal and has remorse. That's rare! For mere “custody” of draft documents and posting it on its website, apart from “occasional” (to-plug-its-own-mistakes) release of notifications and guidelines, it has been gouging the market players by way of fees. Most of its charges leveled against alleged scamsters have been annulled by High Courts – so much for its “fact-finding” skills! Way too much CYA type “disclosures” emerging from the woodwork. It had to seek atonement some day. So here comes a catharsis.

New funds emerge on the horizon – Saffron Asset Advisors, is planning to launch Rs 300 crore domestic real estate fund, which will invest in non FDI-compliant projects in the country. It manages the real estate investments of NYSE Euronext-listed Yatra Capital, is now planning to launch a bouquet of funds focusing on India.

Recently, New Delhi-based Red Fort Capital announced the launch of its second offshore fund, with a corpus of Rs 3200 crore, to invest in Indian real estate. Red Fort has also launched a Rs 1,000 crore domestic property fund. South Africa’s Old Mutual and Mumbai-based ICS have floated a Rs 2,000 crore property fund and Triangle India Real Estate Fund.

No comments: