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Friday, Sep 20, 2002

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Zee Tele falls 5 pc on fresh triggers

Aparna Krishnan

MUMBAI, Sept.19

ZEE Telefilms has been on a southward journey for the past few weeks on account of rumours ranging from a top official resigning to discrepancies in accounting.

The stock has shed over 15 per cent in the last one month and has dropped by seven per cent since September 12. Today, the stock fell 4.82 per cent to close at Rs 92.65 with 35.38 lakh shares being traded on the BSE. On the NSE, the stock dropped 4.30 per cent to close at Rs 93.25 with 56.48 lakh shares changing hands.

Market players say that the selling pressure in the counter was triggered by the talk that Mr Sandeep Goyal, Group Broadcasting CEO, had resigned. The company, however, issued a statement today denying the rumour.

But the spate of selling did not relent, with fresh rumours of an accounting discrepancy. The talk in the market is that the auditors have asked for a statement of accounts of the company.

Dealers said that a prominent foreign institutional investor (FII) was offloading a considerable number of shares today in the counter.

Analysts say that the depressing advertising market and the falling ratings for some of its programmes could have impacted the stock. "The sluggishness in the domestic advertising market has affected Zee considerably. There are fears that the advertising revenue growth in the current fiscal will not be able to match that of the previous years' figures," said an analyst at a domestic brokerage firm.

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2002-03, the company has registered sales (consolidated) of Rs 248.8 crore as against Rs 233.5 crore in the corresponding period last year. Profit after tax has increased to Rs 47.7 crore (Rs 36.4 crore).

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