Friday, January 09, 2009

LIC has no plans to sell Satyam stake now

To play positive role to help software co and its employees.

Our Bureau

Mumbai: Domestic institutional investors in Satyam Computers Services such as LIC and ICICI Prudential Life have said that they will evaluate various options and take a decision on their holdings in the company, in the wake of the latest developments in the software major.

Mr Thomas Mathew T, Managing Director, in charge investments, LIC said that the corporation is a long-term investor and will therefore not take any knee-jerk decision. “We have a 4.34 per cent stake in Satyam Computer Services Ltd. We have no plan to sell our stake, at least in the short-term.” He said LIC will play a positive role in helping the company and its employees.

LIC will take a considered view as Satyam is a niche player in the industry and employs over 50,000 people, said Mr Mathew.

He also expressed the hope that the company could be revived with the help of other institutional stakeholders.

Mr Puneet Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, said, “This certainly is an unprecedented event. With assets under management of around Rs 28,000 crore, our exposure to Satyam as a percentage of our portfolio is insignificant as of now."

"It is paramount for us to protect the interests of our stakeholders, and we are evaluating all possible options along with other institutional shareholders to maximise the value for our stakeholders.”

Most of the foreign institutional investors were not available for comment.

A Citi group spokesperson declined to comment on the current developments while a spokesperson for Fidelity Management and Research Company said the company does not comment about its holdings in a single company.

According to figures available on the Bombay Stock Exchange, as the end of September quarter 2008, Aberdeen Asset Managers Ltd has a 5.12 per cent stake through Aberdeen International India Opportunities Fund and Aberdeen Global Asia Pacific Fund; Fidelity Management and Research Company a 3.42 per cent stake through Fidelity diversified International Fund and ICICI Prudential holds a 2.47 per cent stake.

The other major shareholders include Life Insurance Corporation of India, Lazard Asset Management Company, JP Morgan Asset Management and Citigroup Global Markets Mauritius Pvt Ltd.