Mumbai: Shares of housing finance companies came under sharp selling pressure on Friday after Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL) slumped nearly 60% in afternoon trade today, dragging down other home finance companies as well. Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd slumped 23%, Gruh Finance 15%, LIC Housing Finance Ltd 15% and L&T Housing Finance Ltd 12%.

DHFL shares closed at 351.55 per share on the BSE, down 42.43%, or 259.05, from the previous session. The benchmark Sensex fell 0.75%, or 279.62 points, to end the day at 36,841.60 points.

The real estate market has been under pressure as firms have not able to raise funds due various policy steps—RERA, GST and demonetisation—taken by the government to curb black money.

According to analysts, weak sales—together with rising cost pressure—may have been compounded by negative news flow arising from implementation of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. A likely further decline in residential real estate prices alongside rising costs will add to pressure on valuations.

Media reports said DHFL had defaulted interest payment on its debt. However, this was denied by DHFL chairman and managing director Kapil Wadhwan. The company had ample liquidity of over 10,000 crore, CNBC-TV18 quoted him as saying.

“It is happening to all HFCs (housing finance companies), and not just us. I fail to understand why," Wadhavan told Mint. “This is unprecedented. We have not delayed or defaulted on any payment. We have sufficient cash reserves. It seems to be the outcome of sentiment. We are communicating with all stakeholders, including investors."

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