Media and tech stocks set bourses on fire

Zoom. The stockmarket polevaulted today on a manic Monday which proved to the best in the past three months. The Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index (BSE Sensex) ended firm at 3,322.77, up 70.57 points at the end of the day. The National Stock Exchange Nifty Index rose 21.60 points to end at 1,080.60.

Institutions went berserk as they went about picking selective counters and speculators ploughed into second rung media and tech stocks. Media and tech stocks were at the forefront. Infosys was the top gainer with a close to 10 per cent rise to Rs 3,910. The next highest climber was top media stock Zee Telefilms, which scampered up 9.8 per cent to Rs 132.80 till close of day. The reason: the buzz that Zee TV has offloaded equity to a foreign media major continues to add buoyancy to the stock, even though the company has denied the rumour outright. Additionally, Zee Telefilms advisor UBS Warburg has placed a buy recommendation on the stock, which has been fuelling the upward run, say market sources.

The market expects viewers to respond well to the mythological serials such as Ramayan and Mahabharat which are slated to launch soon on struggling mother channel Zee TV. Finally, the perception is that Zee Telefilms has successfully transitioned from a free to air to a pay TV regime.

Other media stocks also joined the party. Sri Adhikari Brothers skyrocketed 20 per cent to close at Rs 78, while Jain Studios zipped up 14 per cent closing at Rs 49. TV18 closed stronger by 12 per cent at Rs 98 while Pentamedia was up 10 per cent at Rs 70. Tips notched up gains of 8 per cent when trading ended, with its price at Rs 99. Saregama India went up 11.91 per cent to Rs 155. Cinevista Communications (Rs 46.10), Padmalaya Telefilms (Rs 106.50), Adlabs Films (Rs 56.30), Creative Eye (Rs 34.65), Mid-Day Multimedia (Rs 23.90), Pritish Nandy Communications (Rs 30.90), and Crest Communications (Rs 70.15) hit their individual upper limits of their circuit breakers.

On the tech front, software major Satyam Computers gained 5 per cent to close at Rs 224 while second line techs attracted considerable buying and closed with huge gains. Rs Software was up 16 per cent at Rs 60 while Visualsoft gained 15 per cent at its close of Rs 162. Polaris was up 15 per cent at Rs 148 while Aptech closed at Rs 79 with a gain of 12 per cent. Wipro gained 10 per cent at Rs 1,462.

Momentum stocks Global Tele and HFCL also notched up neat increases. Global Tele was up 4 per cent at Rs 123 while HFCL gained 6 per cent at its close of Rs 103.

While new economy stocks rose, old economy stocks such as FMCG declined with keen selling taking place.

Stockmarket sources say that the movement in certain new economy stocks can also be attributed to Ketan Parekh, who has supposedly become active again in his favourite stocks once again. Additionally, observers point out that the ripple effect of an Asian recovery in the wake of better tidings on Wall Street on Friday helped the Indian stockmarkets go up.

Asian bourses were singing with the Hang Seng index up by 69.65 points, Tokyo's Nikkei up by 367 points to 11,064, Seoul's Kospi by 29.38 points to 675. The Straits Times' Index and Taipei's Taiex also showed northward movements.

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