Television Broadcasts (TVB) shares slumped 6.98 per cent to $29.95 yesterday on fears of poor earnings growth and rumours that its chairman was selling part of his stake in the firm, analysts said. A TVB spokesman said the broadcaster did not know why the counter fell. TVB was the day's biggest blue-chip loser as it closed below $30 for the first time in more than six months. Kim Eng Securities analyst Cecilia Mak said it was widely rumoured that Sir Run Run Shaw was trimming his stake in the firm. A source at a Japanese brokerage house agreed. Last week, Sir Run Run sold $100 million worth of TVB stock, and was probably the main seller behind yesterday's sharp fall, the source said. According to this month's Estimate Directory, Sir Run Run is the company's largest shareholder, with a 34.18 per cent stake. The source said Sir Run Run knew the consensus full-year estimate of 31 per cent net profit growth at TVB was too high. The figure would be in the mid-teens at best, he said, adding that TVB's interims would also be disappointing. More brokerages were likely to downgrade the stock in the near future as earnings forecasts were cut, he said, putting the stock's fair value at $24 to $25. Last week, Salomon Brothers recommended investors hold the stock, saying TVB was facing increased competition but did not have a convincing growth strategy. A trader yesterday said TVB's advertising income had been soft in the past few weeks, falling off after a strong boost generated by the handover. This month's wet weather had hit the firm's income, which had been 'less than buoyant', he said. After falling about 14 per cent this month, TVB's shares have risen 0.4 per cent on the year, compared with the Hang Seng Index's rise of 23.16 per cent.