Mumbai: Pledging of shares by promoters in NSE-listed companies witnessed a marginal increase on a year-on-year basis at the end of fiscal year 2015-16, according to market-database tracker Prime Database.

In a release on Thursday, Prime Database said that the percentage of promoter holding pledged in companies which have at least some pledging, went up from to 45.98% at the end of March, from 44.99% a year before.

High pledge levels are typically not considered a good sign by the investors as a downturn in the market price can lead to invocation and change in management.

Across all listed companies on the NSE, including companies with no pledging, it went up to 15.25% from 14.80% a year back on 31 March, the study showed.

In value terms though, promoter share pledging saw a slight decrease of 1.66% cent on a year-on-year basis as the value of such pledged shares dropped to 1.78 trillion as on 31 March, from 1.81 trillion a year ago.

According to Pranav Haldea, managing director of Prime Database, this shows that even though overall pledge levels have gone up, given the fall in equity markets over the last year, the value has remained constant.

The number of companies whose shares were pledged made up 505 of the 1,514 NSE-listed companies at the end of March, up from 492 companies a year back.

There were as many as 25 companies in which the complete holding of the promoters was under pledge as on 31 March. There were as many as 73 companies in which more than 90 % of the promoter’s shareholding was pledged and 209 companies in which more than 50% of the promoter’s shareholding was pledged.

On the other hand, there were 39 companies in which pledged shares were brought down to zero.

By value of pledged shares, the top five companies were: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Cairn India Ltd, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd, JSW Steel Ltd and Asian Paints Ltd.

Shares of promoters of as many as 40 companies were invoked in the last one year, and the company in which the maximum value of shares were invoked in the period was Unitech Ltd, at 350 crore.

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