Shares in Shaw Brothers surge

Price climbs due to sale talk

Shares in Shaw Brothers surged late last week on speculation that an investor is close to meeting Run Run Shaw’s terms and conditions for selling his 75% holding.

Although the company has an iconic name for film fans, its main asset these days is the 26% stake it holds in Television Broadcasts, Hong Kong’s leading free-to-air TV broadcaster and another ancient pillar of the Chinese entertainment industry.

Local papers reported Friday that tycoon Yeung Kwok-keung was days away from securing the bank loan he needs to buy out Run Run Shaw (Daily Variety, June 20).

Financial institutions are also getting excited by the prospect that a new owner could unlock TVB’s slumbering value. The securities arm of investment bank Morgan Stanley this week initiated coverage of TVB stock with an “overweight” recommendation. It argues that TVB is a powerhouse of Chinese content and in 2006 was responsible for 10 of the 20 top-rated shows in mainland China.

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