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Promoters buy crores of rupees of Tata group shares, as market fall puts stocks on fire sale

Kshitij Bhargava
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Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran recently bought as much as Rs 20 crore worth of shares of Tata group companies including Tata Steel and Tata Motors, as a sharp stock market correction seemed to have made valuations very attractive. Other than Chandra, entire promoter group of Tata Group companies have bought shares worth about Rs 1,600 crore, according to a research note by Motilal Oswal. Several other Indian promoters also rushed to lap up their own companies' shares from the open market as stock prices fell as much as 50% during late February-March. The most notable names among the promoters buying their own company shares since 20 February 2020 include Tata group, Bajaj group, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, GMR Infra, among others. "Many stocks have seen significant and meaningful corrections. We have noticed heightened activity in promoters buying/raising stakes," equity brokerage firm Motilal Oswal said.

N Chandrasekaran, popularly known as Chandra, made his biggest share purchase in Tata Steel, picking up shares worth Rs 6.10 crore; followed by Tata Consumer, where he bought shares worth Rs 3.10 crore. While Tata Steel share price has dropped 52% from its 52-week high, Tata Consumer has seen the stock price drop 44% from highs. Other Tata Group company shares that made Chanda's shopping cart were: Tata Chemicals worth Rs 2.9 crore; Tata Communications worth Rs 2.5 crore; Tata Motors and Tata Motors DVR worth Rs 1.7 crore each; Indian Hotels worth Rs 1.1 crore; and Tata Power worth Rs 80 lakhs. 

As more and more promoters bought their companies’ shares from the open market, Tata Group promoters were at the top of the list. Tata Chemicals alone saw promoters buying back shares worth Rs 582.40 crore, followed by Tata Steel where promoters bought shares worth Rs 456.8 crore. Among other major companies, Bajaj Group promoters purchased shares in Bajaj Finserv worth Rs 149.6 crore. Share price of Bajaj Finserv has tanked 52% since the year began. Bajaj Auto shares worth Rs 124.7 crore, and Bajaj Finance shares worth Rs 99.6 crore were also bought by promoters. Promoters of Maruti Suzuki bought shares worth 134.3 crore, while Sun Pharma promoters picked up shares worth Rs 120 crore. In the midst of all this Motilal Oswal noted that L&T has increased its holdings in Mindtree to 61.07%. Promoters of Future Lifestyle Fashions and Future Retail too picked up shares worth over Rs 23 crore.

It was not just promoters buying shares from the open market, companies too announced buybacks. Motilal Oswal said that they are expecting "Buy-backs to accelerate given the prevailing juicy valuations across sectors. Any relaxation on the buy-back tax front can provide a catalyst for more activity, in our view," Among the companies that announced buy-backs are Sun Pharma, Emami, Dalmia Bharat Ltd, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, Granules, among others.