The CBI is not questioning me, we are not being raided: PC Jeweller MD Balram Garg
By Jitesh Kumar Jha
PC Jeweller's shares have fallen some 76 per cent so far in 2008. The slide was triggered by the negative sentiment for the sector following the Punjab National Bank scam by jewellery firms Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Gems.
PC Jeweller shares dipped further after reports of raids on their properties, and that MD Balram Garg was being questioned by the CBI.
The Zee Group spoke to Garg, who said his company's shares wee falling because Fidelity, which had a 9.5 percent stake in the company, recently sold a certain percentage of it. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Rumours are doing the rounds that Balram Garg of PC Jeweller has been arrested and PC Jeweller is being raided at multiple locations. Would you like to say something about that?
A: See, I can't comment on rumours. I really don't know where they come from and what is the basis of that. PC Jeweller is working in the same way as it was functioning till date. Even I am talking with you.
Q: Would you like to say something about the reported raids?
A: The reports are completely wrong. Why will someone raid us or our company.
Q: Have you received any notice from any investigative agency including SEBI and CBI?
A: No, I have not received any such notice.
Q: There has been talks that your company has some relation with Vakrangee. The relation is also a matter of concern in the market. What is your connection with Vakrangee?
A: We have ended our connection with Vakrangee and at present, there is no connection with it.
Q: The share prices of PC Jeweller has fallen below Rs 100 and that is a matter of concern for your investors. Would you like to say something to your investors?
A: I would just like to say that don't go by the rumours and have faith in us like you have always had.
Q: Mr Garg, your stock has seen a sharp fall in the last few days. Is everything okay with your company? As MD of PC Jeweller, would you like to issue a clarification on the fall? Can you think of a reason for the sharp fall?
A: See, we have seen that Vakrangee, which was holding 9.5 per cent stake in the past, has sold a certain percentage of it and I feel the sharp fall is related to the same. That has also created some more selling pressure. Such falls are always visible in every company when such big holdings are sold off.
Q: But the matter of concern is that they have laid off just 1 to 1.25 per cent of their holdings. Did you talk with Fidelity to understand why they sold?
A: No, we didn't have any talk on the issue but I can say that they would have sold a certain percentage of their holding because it was an active week.
Q: Are you able to say that none of your promoters have sold their stakes in PC Jeweller in the last 10-15 days?
A: Yes, I can say that none of them has sold any stake in the company.
Q: Do you think the date for the board meeting, May 25, is too late? Why don't you call a board meeting in the next 2-3 days and go in for a buyback of the stakes?
A: We are thinking about it now.
Q: I would like to say something from the perspective of the small investors. Whenever you announce the buyback, maybe via a tender or an open market purchase, if the promoters are not allowed to participate in the buyback, it will help the confidence of your investors. Can I hope that you will go in for that request?
A: I can confirm that the promoters are not going to participate in it.