Mumbai attacks
Business India

How 26/11 Mumbai attacks hit Tatas’ Indian Hotels at the stock market

The 26/11 attacks in Mumbai left the financial capital of the country in complete shock and angst. The Indian stock market too briefly felt the pain inflicted on the people of Mumbai and inched lower when the attack took place. Actually, this was the second blow to the market already hit by the financial crisis of 2008 when indices found themselves in a free fall.

One of the key Indian landmarks affected by the Mumbai attacks was Hotel Taj Mahal Palace owned by the Tata Group. The Tata Group has listed its hotels business by the name of Indian Hotels Co. Ltd on the bourses.

Here’s a look at how the stock moved during the crisis:

On November 27, 2008, Indian markets were shut as terror attacks hit the financial capital of the country. The Indian Hotels stock too took a hit on November 28, 2008 when the market opened. It started 5.07% lower at 43.05 compared to its previous close of 45.35 on the BSE. Intra day, the stock fell 17.44% to 37.44 level.  Finally, it closed at 37.62 level, 17.04% lower than its previous closing price.

The early morning of November 29 (Saturday) when terror attacks came to an end was a holiday for the Indian markets.

The Indian Hotels stock remained below the 40 level until 15 December 2008, when it opened at 40.53 level on the BSE. The Indian Hotels stock has since risen 274% or 3.74 times compared to the closing of November 28 to intra-day high of 141 level hit today on the BSE.  The stock has gained 14.87% since the beginning of this year and risen 12.63% during the last one year.

On November 22, 2018, the Indian Hotels stock closed 2.79% higher at 138.50 level after brokerage Motilal Oswal initiated coverage on the stock with a ‘buy’ call. The stock rose up to 9.29% to Rs 147 level on the BSE, its highest since June 11.

The Taj managed to reopen its rooms that were heavily damaged due to the attack after 21  months.

Most of the hotel reopened within less than a month but the palace wing of the hotel ravaged by bullets, fire and water could only be opened to guests on August 15, 2010.  The Tata Group chose the occasion of Independence day to restart its operations. The cost of the restoration of the hotel came to  Rs 175 crore but the total cost was expected to be higher, said Raymond Bickson, managing director of Indian Hotels at that time. The hotel received Rs 180 crore in insurance for lost business and restoration, he added.

Meanwhile, the Sensex opened 137 points or 1.52% lower at 8,898.18 on November 28, 2008 compared to its previous close of 9,026 level. However, Indian market shrugged off fears of Mumbai terror attacks with the BSE Sensex closing 0.73% or 66 points higher at 9,092 level on the same day.  The rupee which fell close to 1 percent in opening trade recovered from its early losses and rose 1.5% against the dollar.

The attack on the financial capital of India 10 years ago left more than 160 people dead and another 300 injured at key locations such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Hotel Trident, Nariman House, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital and Wadi Bunder.

The attacks on major landmarks in Mumbai started on the evening of November 26, 2008 when 10 heavily armed terrorists entered the city via the Arabian Sea in a dinghy. The attackers unleashed a wave of terror across key locations of the city using automatic weapons and grenades.

Except Ajmal Amir Kasab who was caught alive, all nine terrorists were killed in retaliatory action by security forces. The three-day attacks came to an end early morning on November 29.



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