BoI sells Balaji Telefilms'' Rs 22 lakh shares owned by Parekh

Mumbai: Bank of India (BoI) has sold shares worth Rs 22 lakh of Balaji Telefilms which the bank had seized from Ketan Parekh for non-payment of dues in the open market for a total consideration of 13.5 crore.

Prudential ICICI is believed to have bought over the entire Balaji lot. ICICI Securities was the merchant banker for the deal.

Confirming the development, a senior BoI official says: "We have started to sell Parekh''s Balaji Telefilms shares as soon as the scrip touched a 52-week high. We have completed the sale of shares just few days back and mobilised Rs 13.5 crore out of it."

According to sources BoI has already recovered more than 50 per cent of the total Rs 137 crore of the Parekh dues. Balaji Tele counter has been witnessing buying activity over the last some many days.

Analysts tracking the company say one of the reasons for the counter attracting heavy buying is due to the rumours in the market that the promoters of the company are planning to go for a private placement of their shares to raise fresh capital. The company, however, denies this news.

Jitendra Kapoor, the owner-promoter of Balaji Tele, had placed 10 lakh shares with a foreign financial institution last year to fund a movie project. According to market sources, Alliance Mutual Fund, too, has reduced its exposure in Balaji Telefilms in May 2003. A part of its equity is believed to be picked up by the Singapore government in a block deal earlier this month.

A Central Bureau of Investigation probe revealed that Parekh and his associates had diverted funds worth around Rs 137 crore that had been fraudulently generated to their share-broking companies. Due to this act an illegal loss of Rs 137 crore was caused to BoI. Parekh and associates played around in the stock market with the same funds.