Zee Entertainment Enterprises hits over 7-year low, tanks 40% in 2 weeks

Thus far in the calendar year 2020, ZEEL's share price has nearly halved from the level of Rs 292 at the beginning of the year
Shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) cracked 10 per cent to an over 7-year low of Rs 150.05 on the BSE on Tuesday in an otherwise firm market. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.6 per cent at 31,578 points at 11:18 am.

The stock of the broadcasting & cable TV operator was trading at its lowest level since July 2012. and has now declined for four straight trading sessions. The counter has seen huge trading volumes with a combined 12.9 million shares changing hands on the NSE and BSE so far.

In the past two weeks, the stock price has tanked 40 per cent, as compared to 18 per cent decline in the Sensex in the same period. Thus far in the calendar year 2020, ZEEL's share price has nearly halved from the level of Rs 292 at the beginning of the year, against 23 per cent fall in the benchmark index.

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Last month, the reports surfaced that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has ordered an inspection of the firm’s books on allegations of corporate governance lapses and also because of the resignations of some of its independent directors.

In a clarification to the exchanges on February 5, Zee acknowledged that it had received a letter from the MCA, seeking information and inspection. The company, however, clarified that the same was available in public domain, and also that it was collating the information and would co-operate with the inspection.

In December 2019, credit rating agency, Brickwork Ratings had downgraded the firm's 6 per cent cumulative redeemable non-convertible preference shares and issuer rating.

The downgrade in the rating factors the resignation of certain Independent Directors and the Company Secretary, along with dilution of controlling stake of the promoter and promoter group which now owns 5 per cent in the Company and the stepping down of Mr Subhash Chandra as Chairman of the Board who, however, will remain as Non-Executive Director of the Company, the rating agency said.

The rating, however, continues to factor in the established track record of promoters of over two decades in Indian television broadcasting industry, apart from the adequate financial profile of the Company as reflected in increase in scale of operations along with low debt, it said.

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