Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) has received Rs 445 crore for its stake sale in Intelenet to Blackstone, which has resulted in a total capital gain of Rs 381 crore on its BPO venture. Speaking at the corporation’s 30th annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh said interest rates had peaked and he expected them to remain stable for some time.
This month, US-based Blackstone Group and the management of Intelenet Global Services entered into a deal with HDFC to buy out the business process outsourcing firm. “Our profit on account of this transaction is around Rs 311 crore,” said Mr Parekh. The corporation had earlier booked a profit of Rs 70 crore when it bought out its earlier partner TCS and resold the stake to Barclays.
Mr Parekh said although BPO was not a core area for HDFC, the sale agreement did not bar HDFC from getting into the same business again. HDFC had decided to sell its stake in Intelenet after its joint venture partner and main customer Barclays wanted to shift work outsourced to Intelenet into a captive company.
In the AGM, shareholders approved a dividend of Rs 22 per share and also cleared the re-appointment of Keshub Mahindra, DM Sukthankar and NM Munjee as directors. Shareholders also cleared HDFC’s proposal to raise Rs 3,114 crore through a preferential issue to the Carlyle group and Citigroup. Mr Parekh said the money would be used to invest in a preferential issue by HDFC Bank and close to Rs 900 crore would be invested in the life insurance venture over two years.
Responding to shareholder queries, Mr Parekh said he did not see interest rates going up as measures by RBI to control inflation has yielded results. Mr Parekh reiterated that real estate rates were set to correct in areas witnessing a lot of construction, such as Gurgaon and parts of Bangalore.
He said the regulatory curbs on lending to real estate and the measures taken to block overseas debt into property was putting pressure on some developers. However, there continues to be resistance on the part of developers to bring down prices.