Big B sees ten-fold surge in stock market wealth(Energy Development Company Ltd ) strong buy

MUMBAI: It's not only Ambanis and Mittals who are making big bucks on the bourses, even Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has seen his stock market wealth grow over ten-fold in just about two-and-half years.

Bachchan currently holds shares worth over Rs 23 crore in a company promoted by his friend and politician Amar Singh, from Rs 2.3 crore at the end of June 2005 quarter when he purchased these shares.

The actor used to be a promoter in Energy Development Company Ltd (EDCL) in 2005-06. While his shareholding stands unchanged at 10 lakh shares, he is no longer a promoter. This is probably the only listed company in India where Bachchan holds shares.

According to information available with stock exchanges, Bachchan figured among the promoters of the company between June 2005 and March 2006 quarters. But his name is among the shareholders holding over one per cent stake June 2006 quarter onward. The share price movement for the company, however, shows Bachchan has gained more after being a non-promoter.

The value of 10 lakh shares held by Bachchan grew less than two-fold to about Rs four crore as on March 31, 2006 from about Rs 2.3 crore at the end of June 2005 quarter. Currently, his 3.64 per cent stake is worth Rs 23.06 crore.

The shares of EDCL are currently trading at Rs 230.65 on the Bombay Stock Exchange and has more than tripled in the past one month. The company's market cap has grown to over Rs 600 crore, representing about five-fold jump in a year.

Bachchan is also an executive director on the company's board, while Singh is an executive chairman.

According to the company's annual report, Bachchan was given a remuneration of Rs 2,500 in 2006-07 for being a director. In contrast, Amar Singh got Rs 32.10 lakh for the same fiscal.

This is perhaps the first remuneration received by Bachchan for corporate duties. While he has held the position of Chairman at a company founded by him -- Amitabh Bachchan Corp Ltd, he did not take any salary from it.

Singh's wife Pankaja Kumari Singh is also a director on the board and earned Rs 10,000 during the year.

Both Singh and his wife hold 2,50,001 shares each in the company in their capacity as promoters. Their combined worth is about Rs 11.5 crore, which is nearly half of the worth of shares held by Bachchan.

EDCL is a power generation company with registered office in Kodagu, Karnataka. The company listed its shares on National Stock Exchange on November 2, while it is already listed on the BSE.

It had reported a net profit after tax of Rs 10.8 crore in the fiscal ended March 31, up from Rs 60 lakh a year ago.

The company said in its annual report that its board "is represented by well-known people from different walks of life. They are reputed and successful professionals, businessman, politician and film personality."

At the end of fiscal 2006-07, board had nine members and held five meetings in the year. Singh attended all five, while Bachchan was present in one. Singh's wife attended two meets.

However, neither Bachchan nor Singh and his wife were present at the company's AGM last year.

Singh got Rs 32 lakh as salary and allowances and an additional Rs 10,000 as sitting fees, which include payments to directors for attending board meetings. The payments made to Bachchan and Singh's wife were sitting fees.