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33 firms disclose pledging of shares to avail loans

Palak Shah in Mumbai | February 05, 2009 12:50 IST

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With the Securities and Exchange Board of India making it mandatory for companies to reveal pledging of shares, disclosures of the same by promoters of listed companies are pouring in.

Since January 21, when Sebi announced that this disclosure would be required, 33 companies have revealed the pledging of shares by their promoters to avail loans.

As per Sebi's new guideline, all companies will have to disclose information about shares pledged by promoters within a period of seven days after the promoters give the companies an intimation. Effectively, these disclosures are likely to come within 14 days.

Stock market analysts are also awaiting disclosures from some front line companies. "There are rumours about some front line companies also pledging their shares but neither have they denied it nor have they disclosed it yet," said a research head with a Mumbai-based brokerage.

In developed countries such as the US, not only promoters but directors too are required to disclose their pledged shares. In the UK, this is covered under insider trading regulations.

Analysts are of the view that most of the promoters were hesitating to disclose this information as there is a fear among investors that the pledging of shares would cost promoters dear.

The company promoters will get loans against the prevailing market price of the shares. However, over the past six months, a host of lenders have invoked the pledges and sold promoter shares in the market, as the value of the share fell below the amount of loan extended and the promoters were unable to give the margin to fill this gap.

"Though there has been a current negative bias towards pledging of shares, this has been an old method of promoters to raise money and many do it to support the company too. So investors should not be scared if promoter shares are pledged," said a stock broker.

However, the Satyam [Get Quote] fiasco, where promoter Ramalinga Raju had pledged a big chunk of his holding, has caused panic among foreign fund managers too.

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