Hotel companies surge on India's stock market

Hotel companies listed on the Indian stock markets are seeing substantial growth, DNA India is reporting: The majority of the leading hotels stocks have gained between 10 percent and 12 percent.

Indian Hotels Co Ltd, Tata Group's hospitality arm that owns Taj, Vivanta, Gateway and Ginger hotel brands, reached a high of Rs106.50 during the intra-day trade, closing at Rs104.10, a rise of 10.92 percent over the previous close. Shares of luxury hotelier P R S Oberoi-promoted East India Hotels (operator of the Oberoi and Trident hotels across the country) reached a high of Rs126.90 during Wednesday trade, closing at Rs125.40 per piece, up 9.14 percent from the earlier closing price of Rs114.90. Hotel Leelaventure Ltd gained the most, closing 12.12 percent over the previous close at Rs22.20 per share, reaching a high of Rs 22.70 in intra-day trade. For Asian Hotels East, North and West, the stocks jumped 11.17 percent, 5.12 percent and 5.41 percent, respectively. Taj GVK rose 6.12 percent, Oriental Hotels increased 8.02 percent, Benares Hotels grew 3.52 percent and Advani Hotels was up 4.23 percent.

Keshav Baljee, promoter of Spree Hotels and ZipRooms, told the paper that India's hotel industry is seeing an increase in business that is driving talks of re-rating of the sector. "The industry is also going through a consolidation stage, and going by the news reports, we have started to see some activity of hotels either getting merged or acquired by stronger players," Baljee said. "I see an increase in the mergers and acquisitions as quite a few hotels are highly indebted and they will have to liquidate assets to cut debt."

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Last month, the new-build 80-room Gateway Hotel (owned by Aditya Jalan, one of IHCL's asset owners in Kolkata) went on the market for a reserve price of Rs141 crore by Edelweiss ARC. In September, Hotel Leelaventure announced that it was selling its 206-room Goa resort to a Malaysian company for Rs725 crore.