When shares fetch more in weight than in value

Written by: Sunil Fernandes
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When shares fetch more in weight than in value
Recently, I was just skimming through a folder, which I had not seen for a long time, since we were abroad for many years. I noticed some share certificates (never demateralised because the companies are wound up) that I had invested somewhere between 1994-2000 and can't help but lament over the folly of some puerile investment decisions.

Among them was a decision to buy a company called “Zillion Pharma”, which was a speculators delight in the mid-1990s and was highly recommended to make a million. The stock has stopped trading and probably the company has been wound up. I did a Google search and realised through “Yahoo Answers” there are many other investors stuck in Zillion Pharma, who probably thought you could make a million.

Another all time favourite in the 1990s was the Chennai based Pentamedia Graphics. I remember purchasing the stock in excess of Rs 500, in 1997, pumping in more than a lakh for 200 shares. The share unlike Zillion Pharma is traded, but at Rs 1.04.

Fortunately, shares are never traded in negative, otherwise I would have to pay the buyer for buying my shares of Pentamedia. I am sure the Rs 1 lakh would have growth to Rs 4 lakh in any fixed bearing instrument. However, the Rs one lakh is now worth slightly more than Rs 200 (1.04 x 200 shares). Unfortunately, I coerced my mother into purchasing the Pentamedia stock and being naïve with very little understanding of the nuances of the markets, she too got stuck in the stock. She's never asked me about the stock in the last so many years.

My other blue chip stocks (pun intended) were CRB Capital Markets, Concert Spices, Lloyds Finance, Prudential Capital Markets, Indo Maxwell. While CRB Capital Markets main promoter got arrested in a Rs 12 billion scam, Concert Spices was under liquidation and I am sure it must have shut shop by now. Similarly, for Prudential Capital markets and Indo Maxwell. Last, I heard that the matter of Lloyds Finance was with the Honourable High Court and it was no longer traded on the BSE.

Over the years, my inclination has gradually shifted from equity to debt, because of my disastrous escapades with stocks. In the meantime, I am gathering all my certificates along with my pile of newspapers and dumping them at the “radhiwala”.

Probably, the weight will fetch me more money, as there's no value in the stocks.

(The author is Asst Editor of GoodReturns.in)

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