Haryana-based housing finance company India Shelter Finance Corporation (ISFC) plans to raise Rs 1,200 crore via an initial public offer, comprising a fresh issue of shares worth Rs 800 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 400 crore.
Analysis for a Layman:
ISFC provides home loans and loans against property mainly to low and middle-income self-employed borrowers in smaller towns, focused on the affordable housing segment. Its assets under management have grown over 40% yearly in the last 3 years to Rs 5,180 crore as of September 2023.
The company now aims to expand its operations in more states and districts through the IPO funds, while existing investors will partially cash out. Its good growth, asset quality, and focus on an underserved market with huge potential make the IPO attractive for investors wanting to play the affordable housing finance growth story.
The IPO approach appears optimal to raise growth capital while providing exits to early backers, paving the way for more institutional shareholders. The asset book scaling evident despite concentration risks highlights the vastly under-penetrated affordable market housing even post-pandemic.
However, external risks around rising interest rates, slowing real estate sales, or defaults by self-employed borrowers can impact measurable progress hereon. Geographical expansion also necessitates razor-sharp processes to maintain asset quality. Listing gains may be capped by relatively lower sensitivity to policy rate cuts than larger financier peers.
Impact on Retail Investors:
For retail investors, the IPO offers exposure to India’s resilient affordable housing push at a reasonable valuation. Scope for superior growth versus mature housing finance firms makes this a promising bet. Potential changes in government incentives, priority sector norms can also benefit players like ISFC more.
However, investors should assess the impact of any demand slowdown in lower price tiers, collection challenges, especially in unfamiliar geographies. Limited trading history and management bandwidth too warrant caution before sizable investments.
Impact on Industries:
The listing may positively impact investor sentiment towards high-quality affordable housing finance companies. Their outreach and technology innovations to serve lower-income groups have enabled healthy margins despite risks.
Associated sectors like cement, tiles, paints also stand to benefit from growth in small-ticket housing loans aiding construction. Mortgage insurers and housing finance technology providers may see renewed interest too.
- Gruh Finance, Aavas Financiers (Affordable housing finance companies)
- Cholamandalam, Shriram Transport (LAP financiers)
- Bajaj Finance, HDFC (Mainstream mortgage lenders)
India Shelter Finance’s focus on technology-led inclusive lending makes its growth story compelling. However, investors should evaluate execution rigor before investing as the macro environment remains challenging. Sustaining asset quality as the geographic footprint widens will be vital.
Citation: Shinde, Ranjit. “Affordable Housing Potential a Good Reason for Investors to Bet on India Shelter Finance.” The Economic Times, 11 Dec