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FIIs hike stake in Balaji Telefilms

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FIIs hike stake in Balaji Telefilms

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) appear to be upbeat about Balaji Telefilms Ltd as their shareholding in the television software company has risen by 11.82 per cent during the January-March 2004 quarter to 25.04 per cent.

FIIs' holding has been on an upward trend in the December 2003 and the March 2004 quarter. This is a reversal from the scenario in the first half of the fiscal when FII holding dipped to 10.29 per cent at the end of June 2003 from 16.29 per cent at the end of March 2003. By the end of September 2003, FII's stake in the company stood at 9.36 per cent.

During the first half of the fiscal, some of Balaji Telefilms' programmes did suffer a decline in ratings. Besides, uncertainties surrounding the implementation of conditional access system had prompted broadcasters to slow down their plans.

However, the company has been able to secure price hikes from leading broadcasters for some of its programmes during the second half. The fourth quarter should see an improvement in its topline primarily because two of its weekend shows should bring in additional revenues. The company has reported a net profit of Rs 43.07 crore for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2003 against Rs 45.45 crore in the year-ago period.

With the launching of additional channels, Balaji Telefilms has been able to garner further business. This would reflect in the first quarter of 2004-05. Balaji Tele is producing programmes of Times channels, MTV and UTV's kids channel, Hungama.

While FII's upped their stake, the promoters, Mr Jeetendra Kapoor and his family, sold a portion of their stake. The promoters' holding declined by 4.85 per cent to 52.94 per cent during the March 2004 quarter.

According to company sources, the promoters' sold a portion of their stake to fund their personal film business. One of the films, Krishna Cottage, is slated for release on April 14. The film produced by Ms Shobha Kapoor and Ms Ekta Kapoor is directed by Santram Varma, who was associated with Balaji Telefilms' serial Kahhin Kissii Roz. The film stars Sohail Khan, Natasha, Isha Koppikar and Rati Agnihotri and falls under the genre of romantic thriller.

The Kapoors have plans for more films but projects are yet to be launched, a company official said.

Among FIIs, T Rowe Price International has a holding of 3.85 per cent in its T Rowe Price New Asia Fund and 2.27 per cent in its T Rowe Price International Discovery Fund.

Goldman Sachs Investment (Mauritius) Ltd has upped its stake to 5.17 per cent from 4.84 per cent at the end of December 2003.

On the promoters' side, the stake of Mr Tusshar Kapoor, son of Mr Jeetendra Kapoor, has fallen by 3.92 per cent to 3.90 per cent at the end of March 2004. Mr Jeetendra Kapoor's stake edged down to 10.81 per cent from the previous 11.78 per cent.


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