Fitch Report Dampens PIK's Gains

PIK rose as much as 19 percent Tuesday in London after posting strong results, but it lost most of the gains after Fitch said Russian property developers were likely to be among the worst hit by a deteriorating financing environment.

The ratings agency said Russian developers were dangerously exposed to the crisis because of a large share of short-term debt in their liquidity profiles, significant operational cash outflows as well as limited cash-on-balance sheet.

"Liquidity risks associated with Russian property developers have never been higher," said Julian Crush, senior director in Fitch's corporates team.

PIK said its net debt had risen by $603 million since Dec. 31, 2007 to stand at $1.32 billion, while total debt was up by $175 million to $1.59 billion. Of this, the biggest chunk was short-term debt at 1.33 billion.

The company's shares were up 3.4 percent Tuesday evening.

PIK slumped 40 percent on Monday in London as investors fled risky investments. Its Moscow-traded shares fell by 22.1 percent Tuesday in illiquid trading.

The builder reported a 34 percent rise in first-half 2008 net profits to $93 million and said it was upbeat on prospects in the second half as it had cash to grow and refinance debt.

"The cash generative nature of our business sets us apart from many developers and will enable us to continue with project execution," Kirill Pisarev, chief executive and co-owner, said in a statement.

Reuters, MT