The fear was palpable. As trading closed on the Bombay stock exchange a chill went down the spines of media related executives as the rumour gathered pace that action was being planned against the biggest player on the Indian stock markets. The broker, who reportedly paid out advance tax of Rs 910 million sometime back, is likely to be arrested on the morning of 6 March, if the buzz is to be believed. Apparently, some documents implicating him were discovered in the locker of film financier and diamond baron Bharat Shah, who is currently in the cooler for his alleged links with the underworld.
If the gossip turns out to be true then there could be a run on the stock markets. And on media, telecom and software stocks as the broker is believed to have huge exposures to Zee Telefilms, HFCL, Global Telesystems and some say Balaji Telefilms, amongst several other stocks. That the market is wary was seen from the selling pressure on Zee, HFCL and Global Tele. Zee Telefilms crashed to a new 12 month low when it slumped to below Rs 115. HFCL and Global Tele also saw more than 16 per cent being lopped off from their share price.
Saregama India (Rs 286.95) lost 16 per, Jain Studios (down 13.75 per cent to Rs 56.90), Balaji Telefilms (Rs 205.90), Mukta Arts (Rs 171.60), Creative Eye (Rs 28.80), Padmalaya Telefilms (Rs 65.75), Cinevista Communications (Rs 68.05), Tips Industries (Rs 129.30) and Vision Tech (Rs 23.75) were media shares that went into a tizzy.
The alarm bells were ringing with the possibility of Zee TV dropping to below the Rs 100 mark should the arrest of the broker happen on 6 March. The broker has in recent times turned a seller of the Zee stock as he has got into a bit of a financial crunch on account of the take over of Global Trust Bank by the Unit Trust of India.