LONDON: Shares in the UK's largest commercial broadcaster ITV plunged yesterday (Wednesday), closing at £0.913, down by 4.7% on the preceding day's close.

It is the lowest level plumbed by ITV stock since its formation by merger in February 2004, when the shares debuted at £1.48

In the current febrile atmosphere of the global markets, ITV's share dive was self-inflicted by its recommendation to the Competition Commission that BSkyB be forced to sell its 17.9% stake in the broadcaster.

Explains Numis Securities media analyst Paul Richards: "Bearing in mind there's no natural bidder, that 18% stake would find its way on to the market, in which case you have a big stock overhang."

Another likely factor driving the ITV price plummet is that its shares went "ex-dividend" on Wednesday - meaning that buyers do not immediately qualify for dividend payouts.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff