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Many scrips hit 52-week lows

ICICI Bank falls to below follow-on issue price

'Bear'ish effect

Many recently listed scrips saw their share prices slip below their IPO issue price

'News of JP Morgan bailing out Bear Stearns has had its ripple effect here in our markets'

Tania Kishore Jaleel

Mumbai, March 17 Many scrips on the bourses hit their 52-week lows on Monday as the Sensex sank below the 15,000 level.

Among the heavyweights, ICICI Bank saw its scrip fall to below its follow-on issue price of Rs 940 today. The scrip was down 13.76 per cent, touching an intra-day low of Rs 743, to close at Rs 757.40.

Some of the other scrips that found themselves at their 52-week lows were Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which tumbled 39.09 per cent, Binani Industries Ltd, which tanked 16.43 per cent, Central Bank, which fell 6.16 per cent, India Hotels Company Ltd, which plunged 9.96 per cent, United Breweries Ltd, which plummeted 15.54 per cent and Dish TV, which dropped 10.70 per cent.

Panic selling

Analysts said the panic selling started as the benchmark index broke the crucial 15,300 level. The Sensex today dipped a whopping 951.03 points and ended the day at 14,809.49.

"A lot of investors were squaring off their positions as the markets broke the 15,300 levels. As it is the case always, when the markets are surging there is euphoria among the investors and now when the markets are tanking there is panic," explained Mr Sanjay Someshwar, a sub-broker with Ventura Securities.

Many recently listed scrips saw their share prices slip below their IPO issue price.

They include Edelweiss Capital closed at Rs 602, Future Capital at Rs 435.55, Mundra Port and SEZ at Rs 512.75 and IL&FS at Rs 118.10. The very recently listed companies – Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and V Guard – too fell below their listing price. REC closed at Rs 101 and V Guard at Rs 60.20.

"News of JP Morgan Chase bailing out investment banking giant Bear Stearns in the US has had its ripple effect here in our markets. This is because Bear Stearns sold its stake in 25 Indian companies before the bail out," said Ms Anita Gandhi, Head Institutional Business, Arihant Capital Markets.

Some of companies which the US-based investment bank had stakes in were Dabur Pharma, Automotive Axels and Oriental Hotels, all of whom took a beating today on the bourses.

'No confidence now'

A market watcher said there is not much buying happening by the insurance companies either. "There is no confidence in the market now. The insurance companies are also just selling. This is because they have not recorded significant collections this time around. These insurance companies are waiting for the markets to stabilise some more so that they can buy at more attractive levels," said the head of research at a brokerage.

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