Birla MF looks to parachute out of Jet Airways' crashing stock

The Jet Airways shares saw panic-selling on Thursday, following suspension of operations the previous night
Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund (MF) — the only fund house holding Jet Airways shares in its actively managed schemes — off-loaded Rs 13 crore worth of shares in the troubled airline, in a bulk deal on Thursday.

According to data from the NSE, ‘Birla Mutual Fund Scheme’ sold 759,000 shares of the company at the price of Rs 173 each. The shares of Jet Airways corrected 31 per cent on Thursday. 

The Jet Airways shares saw panic-selling on Thursday, following suspension of operations the previous night. On Wednesday evening, the airline disclosed to the exchanges: “Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights. The last flight will operate today (Wednesday).” 


A query sent to Birla Sun Life MF on the rationale for holding exposure to Jet Airways, even as the strain built up on the airlines, was unanswered at the time of going to press. 

According to data from Value Research, the fund house held Rs 109 crore of Jet Airways shares in six of its schemes, as of March 31, 2019. 

The schemes included MNC Fund (Rs 51.37 crore of exposure), Tax Relief 96 (Rs 52.62 crore), Tax plan (Rs 4 crore), Bal Bhavishya Yojna — Wealth Plan (Rs 0.7 crore), Retirement Fund 30s plan (Rs 0.39 crore) and 40s plan (Rs 0.2 crore).

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