Television

News channels ride high on FII pull

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MUMBAI: News channels NDTV and TV Today Network had a great run in the market, buoyed by huge volume transactions on the eve of the New Year.

The appetitive for these two scrips was fuelled by reports that the government would allow foreign institutional investments up to 26 per cent in news channels. The cap on foreign holding, however, would stay at 26 per cent.

While NDTV rose a whopping 20 per cent to end at a new high of Rs 146.15, TV Today Network rose 9.26 per cent to Rs 103.20. Incidentally, the foreign holding in both these companies is negligible. TV Today had a 6.21 per cent foreign shareholding, while foreign institutional investors (FIIs) held 3.05 per cent stake in NDTV.

"There is scope to substantially increase FII investment in the two companies," says a fund manager in a leading broking house.

NDTV had a total volume of 5.16 lakh transactions on the BSE, way above its normal trading day. TV Today saw 4.80 lakh shares being traded. Compare this with TV Eighteeen's volume figure of 22,491 shares being traded and the scrip rising 3.04 per cent to close at Rs 226.95.

"TV18 already has a foreign holding of 25 per cent. There is very little scope of foreign investors playing in that scrip," says an analyst. CNBC-TV18, a business channel, is a joint venture between TV18 and CNBC.

"Domestic institutions showed active interest in NDTV and TV Today in anticipation of FIIs stepping in to buy these stocks," adds the analyst.

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