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Block deals in Eveready Ind

Jayanta Mallick

KOLKATA, Oct 18

EVEREADY Industries saw sharp increase in volumes today on the major bourses, taking the market by surprise. Backed by a number of block deals, the counter recorded combined volumes of 6.6 lakh shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock exchange. The total traded quantity was just 3,315 shares yesterday on both the exchanges.

The counter witnessed four block deals executed between 12 noon and 1 pm on the NSE, while the BSE saw three block transactions around the same time.

The block deals on the two bourses accounted for 6.32 lakh shares, indicating little retail participation.

About 99.97 per cent shares traded were up for delivery on the NSE. On the BSE, 99.43 per cent traded shares were presented for delivery.

"The deals were suggestive of institutional offloading", Mr Darshan Mehta of moneypore.com observed.

According to market players and analysts, the probable seller was UTI, which held more than one per cent of total Eveready shares of 5.58 crore. According to Mr Arun Kejriwal, a market analyst, the strategic investment was ruled out because of the size of today's total volume, which was a little over 1 per cent of the total number of shares. He felt that since the block deals were delivery-based, it could be assumed as done for a long-term investment.

Mr A Chakravarti, company secretary of Eveready, told Business Line that the company was unaware of any institutional sale on Friday.

"There is always a time lag of around 3 to 4 days between the trading of shares and the information reaching the company".

Despite huge volumes, Eveready closed at Rs 13.7 (Rs 12.25) on BSE and Rs 13.4 (Rs 12.15) on NSE. The block deals were executed at prices ranging between Rs 12.20 and Rs 13.25.

As on September 30, 2002, promoters and associates, including foreign promoters, held 61.14 per cent, while mutual funds and UTI held 3.13 per cent in the company. Banks, FIs and Insurance companies held 13.72 per cent, public 11.75 per cent and private corporate bodies 8.01 per cent.

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