Late night announcement raises eyebrows

Larsen & Toubro on Friday successfully managed to divest its stake in L&T Finance Holdings through an offer-for-sale. However, the stock crashed sharply as it fixed the floor price at ₹70, a steep discount to Thursday’s closing price of ₹79.2.

As against an offer for 8.32 crore shares, the promoter received bids for 10.63 crore shares.

The share sale constitutes 5.551 crore equity shares through the offer-for-sale route and 2.775 crore shares through direct selling by the promoters of L&T Finance Holdings.

The sale of shares helped the company reduce its promoter holding to 76.65 per cent from about 81.5 per cent at the end of the December quarter. Under SEBI norms, promoter holding in listed companies is capped at 75 per cent.

L&T Finance plummets

The stock opened at ₹75 and touched a low of ₹73.75 on the BSE before closing at ₹74.3, down 6.19 per cent over the previous day’s close.

Many investors and analysts were unaware of the stake sale and the floor price, as the company disclosed the details only late in the evening on Thursday.

According to analysts, L&T Finance Holdings, which was included in the futures and options segment from Thursday, allowed traders with leveraged positions to maximise their profits by short selling the futures.

(This article was published on March 14, 2014)
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