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Rolta continues to languish; CMD blames market sentiments, Satyam debacle

This article was posted on Jan 14, 2009 and is filed under Press Releases

MUMBAI: The stock of Rolta India continued to languish in the red on Wednesday. The stock, which witnessed a 70 per cent fall intra-day on Tuesday, was trading at Rs 86.75, down nearly a per cent. It touched a low of Rs 80.35.

The stock had nosedived on Tuesday amidst speculation of a financier offloading shares pledged by the company, talk of the company having inflated numbers, independent directors resigning, and the company shutting down one of its units in the US.

Responding to media, Rolta chairman and managing director KK Singh had Tuesday denied any such developments, and blamed the stock market crash on fragile market sentiments due to the Satyam debacle.

Mr Singh added that a group company, which holds around 2.5-3.0 per cent of Rolta’s equity capital, had been routinely pledging those shares to raise working capital.

“We have reconfirmed from public sector banks — Union Bank, Axis Bank, Indian Bank — and they have confirmed that they haven’t sold any shares,” said Mr Singh.

Interestingly, the company had been pulled up by market regulator SEBI in July 2004 for “improper accounting practices” that had led to sales figures being inflated.

As per the NSE bulk deal data, Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Espana SA SVB sold 10 lakh shares of the company at an average price of Rs 68.40. Around 8.5 crore shares changed hands on both stock exchanges, but less than 5 per cent of those resulted in delivery.

A senior Rolta official told ET that the company was planning to approach SEBI, seeking a probe into the hammering of the stock on Tuesday.

In a press release issued to the exchange, the company said all its operations and businesses are in order and that there are no new developments that could have any material impact on the company’s operations and businesses.

As on Dec 31, 2008, the promoters hold 40.25 per cent stake in Rolta, while foreign institutional investors — Credit Suisse Singapore, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity, among others — hold 24 per cent.

source: economic times

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