ICICI Mutual Fund sells 4.93 pc in NDTV Templeton MF picks part of stake

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, June 27

ICICI Mutual Fund today sold marginally lower than five per cent stake in NDTV in the open market. Templeton Mutual Fund picked up part of the stake.

In a notice to the BSE, ICICI Mutual said that it sold 30 lakh shares (4.93 per cent stake) in the company at an average price of Rs 198.99 on the exchange.

Out of these shares, Templeton Mutual Fund - through its scheme Prima Fund - picked 17.92 lakh shares at an average price of Rs 197.

The stock closed at Rs 211, down 1.93 per cent from the previous close on the BSE.

ICICI Mutual held 14.93 per cent stake (90.77 lakh shares) in NDTV at the end of March 2005, while Templeton Mutual Fund held 1.38 per cent stake.

Brokers said that NDTV was the most attractive stock among the institutional investors.

This is due to the good business model and steady growth in revenue and profits since its listing last year.

Good viewership of its recently launched NDTV Profit channel has also attracted investor interest. The company plans to launch one more channel in the news space soon.

The brokers also said that it was the only media stock that had done well this year.

According to analysts, many FIIs are interested in picking up stake in NDTV but are unable to do so due to Government regulations that prohibit FIIs from investing in news companies.

But the recent Government decision to allow FIIs to invest in print media has given hope to market players that TV news channels would also be brought under this category.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 28, 2005)
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