Institutions, both foreign and domestic, are seen bottom-fishing during the recent market correction.
Promoters and employees are also picking up shares of their companies.
Though the stakes involved are small, the hectic pace of activity is evident when one peruses the mandatory disclosures made to the stock exchanges under insider trading regulations.
“This is quite common. Investors might have found value at these prices,” said a member of the National Stock Exchange.
Life Insurance Corp. increased its stake in Mahindra & Mahindra by 0.09% to 10.05% and in Maruti Udyog by 0.02% to 10.01% last week.
“Long-term money is holding on, and I don’t think anyone has a negative view on India,” explained Rahul Rege of Brics Securities. “In contrast, an institution like HDFC has sold a substantial chunk in Tube Investment at the lowest price,” said another broker.
Foreign investors, too, are following this pattern. Goldman Sachs had increased its holdings in Punjab National Bank from 4.56% to 5.19%. Citigroup Global (Mauritius) reported an increased stake in IVRCL Infra by 0.5% to 5.10% and in Gayatri Projects from 5.34% to 5.41%.
Mid- and small-caps have not gone out of focus. While Morgan Stanley bought 6.4% in Pioneer Embroideries, Fidelity Mutual Fund picked up an additional 0.12% in Ess Dee Aluminium, taking the total count to 5.06%, and bought an additional 3.6% in Provogue. “The opportunities available are very selective, and one should be focused on the kind of stories they are pursuing and typically play long term,” added Brics’ Rege.
Employees are also making use of this opportunity to add value to their portfolios. Pradeep Puri, chief executive officer of Noida Toll Bridge, bought 10,000 shares of the company on 5 March and Sandeep Presswala of IL&FS Investsmart was reported to have bought a 0.03% stake. S. Venkitaramanan, director, HDFC, reported a purchase of 7,500 shares under the employee stock option scheme.
It is interesting to note that most of the transactions reported have happened between 5 March and 9 March, a week when the Sensex opened 500 points lower and recovered some ground later.