TV 18 opens at a whopping 1000 per cent premium; to launch portal on Budget Day

TV 18 listed at a massive 1,000 per cent premium on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) today. It opened at RS 1,950 and touched an intra-day high of RS 1,990 on the first day of its trading. The RS 10 scrip was issued at RS 180 and had received a overwhelming response when it was oversubscribed by 55 times. A whopping 150,000 shares were traded in the first ten minutes trading and the volumes rose to 3,50,000 in just two hours. The share was hovering around RS 1,600 after a couple of hours of trading. The market had already speculated the opening price to be RS 2,000 on the day prior to its listing.

The company has announced its plans to launch a business portal on 29 February which would coincide with Budget Day. "The portal will be different from any that is around today. It will take synergies from the television channel CNBC to offer the consumer a unique experience," says TV 18 managing director Raghav Bahl.

The project is estimated to cost RS 200 million. Already having invested RS 30 million, the company would at some stage go in for Venture Capital. "We are incubating the portal under TV 18 currently. Later on we will spin it off as a 100% subsidiary. We cannot afford the portal dragging down the earnings of TV 18," says Bahl. The company hopes the portal to break even within three years of business. Officials, however, refused to disclose details about the project.

Earlier, TV 18 made history on 15 February when the Bombay Stock Exchange invited brokers for a pre-listing meet which was the first of its kind, at the trading ring of BSE. Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Television Eighteen (TV 18) addressed the stock brokers and the media about the company profile and its operations and appeared to be confident about his stock.

The stock is expected to show wonders for the investing community with very few media scrips to invest in. The questions which still remain to be answered are whether the company with revenues just around

RS 300 million will continue to attract investor sentiment when biggies like UTV and Nimbus make their listings on the stock exchange. It does not have much library product like UTV and Nimbus as it mainly makes commissioned shows. Its only USP is its partnership business channel CNBC India. Bahl will have to take steps to remedy that at some stage.

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