Small investors, HNIs hike Kingfisher stake

Small individual investors and high net-worth individuals (HNIs) seem to be on a share buying spree in Kingfisher Airlines, despite the ailing carrier having been grounded for the past four months after its' licence was suspended.

However, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) more than halved their exposure to the beleaguered airlines to 1.07 per cent at the close of last quarter ended December 31, 2012, from 2.46 per cent three months ago, while holding of domestic institutions also came down during this period.

The high-networth individuals raised their stake in cash-strapped carrier to 15.74 per cent at the end of December quarter from 13.78 per cent in the preceding three months, while holding of small individual investors rose to 19.25 per cent from 17.59 per cent, as per stock exchanges data.

Small investors (defined as those holding up to Rs 1 lakh worth shares in a company), and HNIs (individuals with shares worth over Rs 1 lakh) have been raising their respective stakes in Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines since April-June quarter of 2012.

Besides, the latest shareholding data of Kingfisher shows that the number of small individual and HNI shareholders have also increased considerably during this time.

The total promoter holding continued at 35.83 per cent in December quarter. The promoters have pledged over 90 per cent of their shares with various lenders, leaving them with a non- encumbered stake of just 3.55 per cent.

The shareholding of institutional investors (insurance, banks and financial institutions) has also come down in the December quarter to 14.13 per cent from 15.61 per cent in September quarter.

The stake of domestic institutional investors slipped marginally to 13.06 per cent in December quarter from 13.15 per cent in the preceding three months.

The operations of Kingfisher remains disrupted since September 30, first due to a strike by its engineers and pilots, and then the lockout declared by the management.

This was followed by suspension of its flying permit by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after the carrier failed to produce a plan on how it would revive its operations.

Shares of Kingfisher have fallen by over seven per cent during the quarter under review. The company's scrip is currently trading at Rs 12 level.

The total number of small shareholders currently stand at 2,22,320 as against 2,05,781 as on September 30, 2012 and the number of HNIs were 3,390 as compared to 3,072 during the same period.

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