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Saturday, July 07, 2001

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Balaji Telefilms in spotlight

Aarati Krishnan

THE past couple of weeks have been lacklustre for the equity markets, with uncertainties surrounding the phase-out of the carry-forward system continuing to exercise a moderating influence on trading volumes. However, the bond markets have in contrast be en quite active on the recent rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, the sixth such cut in the year.

*A surprise rate cut from the European Central Bank also strengthened expectations that domestic interest rates would head further southward. This has prompted a rally in several of the more actively traded corporate bonds in the domestic market. Some of the Deep Discount bonds of ICICI, IDBI, SIDBI and Tata Steel have seen an appreciation in prices over the past fortnight.

A few bank stocks have also attracted buying interest, with the Corporation Bank stock at the forefront. The stock moved up by Rs 5 over the past week. The HDFC stock has also made significant gains over the fortnight appreciating by around Rs 40 over th e period.

*The most consistent gainers of the past fortnight continued to be small cap stocks such as Prudential Pharma, Sword and Shield Pharma, Jayant Agro and Arihant Equity.

SmithKlineBeecham Consumer Healthcare has been among the stocks to register a capital appreciation over the past two weeks, moving up from Rs 375 to Rs 405 levels over the period. The company has been one of the few to report a relatively healthy financi al performance within the FMCG sector. The stock also carries a lower price earnings multiple when compared to other FMCG companies.

*Bayer India and Balaji Telefilms have registered a noticeable appreciation over the past fortnight. The Balaji Telefilms stock has appreciated on the news of an increase in institutional holdings in the fund. Mutual funds such as Prudential ICICI and SB I MF have recently acquired equity stakes in the fund. The stock's rise from the level of Rs 148 to Rs 210 has been accompanied by a sharp rise in trading volumes.

The Bayer India stock has been among the consistent gainers of the past fortnight. The stock has risen steadily from Rs 479 to around Rs 612, amassing net gains of over Rs 100 during the period. The recent buying interest in the stock has to be seen in t he light of an announcement by India Syntans, a Chennai-based company that it had acquired a over 5 per cent stake in the company, through the secondary market.

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