Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reward time for Reliance shareholders

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani has said issue of bonus shares after a 12-year hiatus was just fulfilment of the company's commitment to reward shareholders after completion of important projects.

The RIL board on Wednesday approved giving one free share for every share held, upon completion of a mega refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat and KG basin oil and gas field development.

"It was a Reliance commitment, whenever we finish a value creation cycle, we make sure that everybody is awarded," he told CNBC TV-18 business channel.

The company built a 580,000 barrels per day refinery at a cost of $6 billion to make Jamnagar the world's largest refining hub. It invested an equal amount in beginning production of natural gas from KG-D6 fields in record time. Together with a $4 billion pipeline for transporting gas to consumption centres, the group had invested over Rs 100,000 crore (Rs 1 trillion) in 3-4 years.
"This value creation cycle was the biggest in our history where we had nearly Rs 100,000 crores of assets coming in line," said Ambani who heads the nation's most valuable company.

The gas from KG-D6 has cut fertiliser subsidy and increase power generation, thereby helping the economy in times of downturn, he said.

"I think it was the shareholders turn (to be rewarded now). It was a commitment (we have fulfilled now)," he said.

Ambani said Reliance was "pretty focused" on growth trajectory. "We are very much on track." He, however, refused to discuss new projects saying: "You have to wait for the next AGM to get specifics of that but the direction is not changing at all."

Asked about the growth vehicles for Reliance in next five years, he said: "We will spell out the specifics on November 17."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Deflation - Are we going to face problems

Nowadays we keep on reading that global economies such as US and Europe will face severe problems of deflation due to recession. Fed fund rate in the US is between 0.00-0.25% or 25 bp (100 basis point = 1%). Inflation in these countries is close to 0. With the falling interest rates in India will we too face similar situation?

Deflation is a “sustained” fall in the general price level of goods and service below zero percent inflation. It results in an increase in the real value of money — a negative inflation rate. It is just opposite of inflation, which is the general increase in the price level of goods and services. When the inflation rate slows down (decreases, but remains positive), this is known as disinflation. Disinflation is a substantial drop in the rate of increase of the price level. Deflation should not be confused with temporarily falling prices; instead, it is a sustained fall in general prices.

Inflation destroys real value in money whereas Deflation creates real value in money.
Real Price ~ Nominal Price –Inflation
With the passage of time, the “real price” of any good or service is characterized by above equation. Hence, if it is positive inflation or normal inflation, real price decreases over a period of time. However, if inflation is negative i.e. deflation, real price increases with time. Alternatively, the term deflation was used by the classical economists to refer to a decrease in the money supply and credit.

Causes of deflation
1. Deflation is caused by the fall in aggregate level of demand i.e. there is a fall in how much the whole economy is willing to buy, and the going price for goods. Because the price of goods is falling, consumers have an incentive to delay purchases and consumption until prices fall further, which in turn reduces overall economic activity - contributing to the deflationary spiral. (As we can currently see that buyers believe real estate prices will fall further, thus delaying their purchase decisions. This in turn has reduced the demand for the real estate properties which in turn has reduced the construction activities. Thus, general economic activities such as cement production etc are down.)

As demand and economic activity falls, investments fall as well because corporate do not want to invest in increasing capacity as there is no demand. This leads to further reduction in aggregate demand. This is the deflationary spiral i.e. a situation where decreases in price lead to lower production, which in turn leads to lower wages and demand, which leads to further decreases in price. An answer to falling aggregate demand is stimulus, either from the central bank, by expanding the money supply, or by the fiscal authority to increase demand such as reducing interest rates or giving money to corporate or people at significantly lower rates.

2. In monetarist theory, deflation is related to a sustained reduction in the velocity of money (It is the average frequency with which a unit of money is spent in a specific period of time. Velocity affects the amount of economic activity associated with a given money supply) or number of transactions. This is attributed to a dramatic contraction of the money supply, perhaps in response to a falling exchange rate, or to adhere to a gold standard or other external monetary base requirement. In the present scenario it appears to be one of the prime reasons for growing fears of deflation.

3. Deflation also occurs when improvements in production efficiency lower the overall price of goods. Improvements in production efficiency generally happen because economic producers of goods and services are motivated by a promise of increased profit margins, resulting from the production improvements that they make. Competition in the marketplace often prompts those producers to apply at least some portion of these cost savings into reducing the asking price for their goods. When this happens, consumers pay less for those goods; and consequently deflation has occurred, since purchasing power has increased.

4. Deflation may be caused by a combination of the supply and demand for goods and the supply and demand for money, specifically the supply of money going down and the supply of goods going up. Historic episodes of deflation have often been associated with the supply of goods going up (due to increased productivity) without an increase in the supply of money, or (as with the Great Depression and possibly Japan in the early 1990s) the demand for goods going down combined with a decrease in the money supply.

Indian scenario – Last few years we saw massive boom in all the sectors. There were huge demands for real estate properties, IT services, Cements, Food products etc. Our economy was growing in excess of 9% and mood was upbeat. Everybody thought this growth will continue forever. Hence, corporate invested heavily in building capacity, developers invested billions of dollars in launching new projects etc. Suddenly the boom busted due to financial crisis. People lost jobs, interest rates went up through the roof and demand plunged. There was a huge mismatch between supply (more) and demand(less). This led to price correction - real estate saw over 40% drop in prices, commodities went down by over 70% and so on. Moreover, due to global financial crisis, there is acute shortage of liquidity in the market and hence less flow of money in the economy. People are holding back to their investments as well as consumption; thus, reducing velocity of money. Does it sound like symptoms of deflation?

Effects of deflation
1. Deflation leads to decrease in prices of good and services, increasing value of money. While an increase in the purchasing power of one’s money sounds beneficial, it can actually cause hardship when the majority of one’s net worth is held in illiquid assets such as homes, land, and other forms of private property.

2. Deflation raises real wages, which are both difficult and costly for management to lower. Moreover, falling prices and demand discourages corporations from investing. This frequently leads to layoffs and makes employers reluctant to hire new workers, increasing unemployment.

3. Deflation often follows a period of nearly zero interest rates. When the central bank has lowered nominal interest rates all the way to zero, it can no longer further stimulate demand by lowering interest rates. This is the famous liquidity trap. When deflation takes hold, it requires “special arrangements” to “lend” money at a zero nominal rate of interest (which could still be a very high real rate of interest, due to the negative inflation rate) in order to (artificially) increase the money supply.

Why deflation is bad?
While shoppers see falling prices as a good sign, economists see it as a threat to the economy or nation. Deflation hurts the economy much more than inflation. In fact a small positive inflation is good for the economy because it suggests growing demand as well as healthy economy. However, in deflationary conditions consumers postpone expenditure, because they think prices will decrease further. This decreases demand in the economy which badly affects firms, who then scale back production and investment plans, leading to job losses, further affecting purchasing power and demand, which leads to a downward spiral in the economy.

We will now take a look at the most infamous deflation in the history of modern world.

Deflation in Japan
Deflation in Japan started in the early 1990s. The Bank of Japan and the government tried to eliminate it by reducing interest rates, but this was unsuccessful for over a decade. In July 2006, the zero-rate policy was ended. There were several reasons for deflation in Japan which are explained below:

1. Bust of Asset price bubble: There was a rather large price bubble in both equities and real estate in Japan in the 1980s (peaking in late 1989). When assets decrease in value, the money supply shrinks, which is deflationary.

2. Insolvent companies: During the boom time (1980s) Japanese banks lent aggressively to companies and individuals that invested in real estate. However, when real estate values dropped, people were not able to pay back these loans to banks. The banks tried to collect the collateral (land or properties), but this wouldn’t pay off the loan because their prices had fallen significantly. Banks delayed their decision to foreclose these loans hoping asset prices would improve. These delays were also allowed by national banking regulators. This continuing process is known as maintaining an “unrealized loss”, and until the assets are completely revalued and/or sold off (and the loss realized), it will continue to be a deflationary force in the economy. Improving bankruptcy law, land transfer law, and tax law were suggested by leading economists as methods to speed this process and thus end the deflation.

3. Insolvent banks: Japanese banks had a larger percentage of their loans as “non-performing” i.e. they were not receiving any interest payments on them, but have not yet written them off. With high non-performing loans or assets, they were unable to lend more money; thus, their earnings declined significantly and risk of insolvency increased many a fold.

4. Imported deflation: Japan imports Chinese and other countries’ inexpensive consumable goods, raw materials (due to lower wages and fast growth in those countries). Thus, prices of imported products were decreasing with the rise of economy of scale in China. Domestic producers had to lower their prices in order to remain competitive. This decreasing in prices of domestic products over a period of time led to deflation.

5. Fear of insolvent banks: Japanese people were afraid that banks might collapse so they preferred to buy gold or (United States or Japanese) Treasury bonds instead of saving their money in local bank accounts. Thus less money was available for lending and therefore economic growth. This meant that the savings rate depresses consumption, but did not appear in the economy in an efficient form to spur new investment.

Deflation alarms in the US?
With the fed fund rate at a historic low (0.00-0.25%), there is a growing fear of deflation in the US. Many economists believe that USA could face short term period of deflation. With the bust of housing bubble, acute shortage of credit and falling consumption, USA has more or less similar conditions that were prevalent in Japan in early 1990s. However, I believe there are some basic yet crucial differences.

Firstly, Japanese companies were far more dependent on commercial banks for financing than are today’s U.S. multinationals, which have stockpiles of internal capital as well as broader access to capital markets. Moreover, US Treasuries are still considered as the safest investments in the world. This keeps the flow of money into the US economy.

Secondly, Bank of Japan’s exceptionally poor monetary policymaking was a big reason for the country’s protracted problem. The central bank’s failure to lower interest rates in the early 1990s ultimately drove the economy into a deflationary death spiral. They were just too slow and conservative to react to the situation. However, US Fed has been quite aggressive and proactive in taking sound monetary decisions and ensuring that they do not repeat those mistakes. In 1992, for example, amid negligible inflation and a comatose economy, the Bank of Japan’s key interest rate was still nearly 4%. In contrast, after the tech bubble burst in the USA, the Fed quickly slashed its benchmark rate to 1 %. Also, the current fed rate is between 0.00-0.25%.

Thirdly, though both USA and Japan faced housing trouble and mortgage crisis, Japan’s central bank was too slow to act. The country’s banks hid their bad loans beneath opaque corporate structures rather than absorb the losses. But rather than write off the loans, Japanese banks extended additional credit to borrowers, allowing them to at least make minimal interest payments. Those made banks look healthier than they were, at the cost of impairing the flow of credit to new businesses. However, American banks have been forthcoming in absorbing the losses on their books and writing off loans. This has given fed a clear picture of true losses and subprime crisis in the economy.

Having said that I believe the US economy may bleed for some time and enter a period of deflation. However, that period would be short lived and not as prolonged as that of Japanese economy in 1990s. As per an estimate, avoiding a long period of deflation and recession might cost the US a staggering $3 Trillion.

Will India face deflation?
Let’s examine Indian economy vis-à-vis Japanese economy of 1990s. In the last five years BSE exchange went up from 5,000 to 21,000, an increase of 400% while real estate prices in Indian witnessed an increase of over 300%. This is phenomenal increase in prices and asset prices looked highly inflated. After the global financial crisis, Indian stock exchange plunged by over 60% and real estate values dropped by almost 30-40% in less than six months. Some welcomed this fall while majority believed Indian global dream is finally over. The mayhem still continues with stock prices and real estate prices further going down.

Compare this with that of Japan - In the five years before its 1989 peak, the Nikkei (Japanese stock exchange) stock average rose 275%. Property prices became so inflated that the tiny spit of land surrounding the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo was briefly worth more than the entire state of California. At the time, Japan’s seemingly unstoppable rise inflamed fears among Americans that the United States had slipped into permanent economic inferiority. When the bubble finally busted in late 1989, stock and property prices nose-dived in tandem. In less than three years, the Nikkei stock average fell 63% from its peak of 38,916. It didn’t hit bottom until April 2003 and a total decline of 80%. Do these two stories sound similar? Yeah they do!

Inflation figures for the last week was 3.92% which is far less than the peak rate of 12% less than six months back. Are we going into a period of negative inflation or deflation? We are currently in a state of disinflation which is a decreasing value of inflation as the inflation rate is still positive. However, this may lead to a situation where downward price movement continues and we enter a period of deflation. I believe this is highly unlikely because we are a growing economy with very young population. Moreover, we are not an export oriented economy and hence do not depend too much on external demand. Our economy is mostly driven by domestic demand and consumption, which is somewhat insulated from other countries and global events. We still have lot of room to maneuver our policies to regenerate demand and spending. Yet, with the growing globalization we too run a risk of deflation if our monetary and fiscal policies are not handled well.

How deflation can be avoided?
To counter deflation we have to revitalize our growth story, reignite demand and create confidence among people. Compare to the inflation rate, 3.92%, lending rates in India are still close to 10%, which is quite high. Unless lending rates do not come down people won’t buy properties, automobiles or other consumer goods. Moreover, corporate won’t be able to borrow money to launch new innovative projects, spend on infrastructure or build capacity. Thus, to create demand and investments, government as well as RBI has to bring down this lending rate by implementing ways to reduce cost of borrowing funds.

Hence, only monetary policy won’t be sufficient to tackle this menace; fiscal policy too has to play a significant role here. Government has to be more aggressive in implementing reforms and speeding up infrastructure spending. Let us hope better sense will prevail among our political class.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz to get $19 mn this year

The newly-appointed Yahoo! chief executive Carol Bartz will receive a compensation of $19 million this year.

The 60-year-old technology veteran has replaced the Internet major's founder and chief executive Jerry Yang. Bartz would get a base salary of $1 million and a grant of $10 million in cash and stock to compensate the benefits forfeited from the previous employer. Further, she would be paid an annual grant worth about $8 million.

Bartz was appointed as the chief executive by Yahoo! board on January 13.

In a regulatory filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Yahoo! said that Bartz would receive stock options for 5 million shares and the price would be decided on January 30.

To compensate Bartz for the forfeiture of the value of equity grants and post-employment medical coverage from her previous employer Autodesk, she would be provided an 'equity grant with a grant-date value of $10 million, payable 25 per cent in cash and 75 per cent in restricted stock,' the filing noted.

Yahoo! would also provide post employment medical coverage under its plans to Bartz, her spouse and eligible dependants as necessary, with Bartz paying the full premiums, it added.

She would be receive an 'annual grant for 2009 with a value of approximately $8 million which is expected to be granted in February 2009.'

Also, Bartz's salary would be subject to annual review for increases and would be eligible to receive an annual bonus, it said.

'The actual amount of the annual bonus will be determined by the compensation committee of the board based upon both the company's and Bartz's performance for the relevant year,' the filing added.

On January 13, 2009, Yahoo! entered into an employment agreement with Bartz to serve as chief executive for an initial term of four years and may be extended by mutual agreement thereafter.

Bartz served most recently as executive chairman of the board of directors of Autodesk and she was chairman, president and chief executive officer of the company for 14 years.

She currently serves on the board of directors of Cisco Systems, Intel Corporation and NetApp, Inc.

On Thursday, shares of Yahoo! shed 6.45 per cent to close at $11.61 on the Nasdaq.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NYSE halts trading in Satyam Computer

New York/New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) New York Stock Exchange today halted trading in Satyam Computer at its bourses in the US as well as Amsterdam in Europe, after founder and Chairman Ramalinga Raju disclosed financial bungling at the Indian IT major. "Yes, the stock is halted in New York and Amsterdam," a spokesperson for NYSE Euronext told PTI in an emailed reply on queries whether trading were being halted in Satyam shares.

In pre-market trade in the US, Satyam stock plunged by over 90 per cent to 0.85 dollars after Raju disclosed what has emerged as the biggest ever corporate fraud in India. Shares of Satyam on Indian bourses plunged by close to 98 per cent today, wiping off about Rs 10,000 crore (more than two billion dollars) from its market valuation.

Incidentally, two of Satyam's Indian rivals Infosys and Wipro that are also listed in the US, were trading with significant gains at the American bourses. NYSE-listed Wipro was trading with a gain of about 1.7 per cent, while Nasdaq-listed Infosys was up about 1.8 per cent.

However, most of the other US-listed Indian companies, such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Sterlite, Patni Computer, Rediff, Genpact, WNS, EXL Service, MTNL, Tata Motors and Dr Reddy's, were trading in the red at the US bourses. ICICI Bank was down over 13 per cent, while HDFC Bank plunged by over 10 per cent.

Besides, Sterlite was down over 9 per cent, Genpact and Dr Reddy's were down over 7 per cent, MTNL by over 6 per cent, Tata Motors by close to 5 per cent and WNS by over two per cent. PTI.

Rs 8,000 cr fraud hits Satyam; Raju may get 7-yr jail

In the country's biggest corporate fraud involving about Rs 8,000 crore, iconic IT company Satyam was hurtling towards disaster following the shocking disclosure of accounts fudging by its founder Ramalinga Raju, who then quit as chairman - leaving an uncertain future for the company and its 53,000 employees.

By the end of the day, the fourth largest IT company lost a staggering Rs 10,000 crore in market capitalisation as investors reacted sharply and dumped shares, pushing down the scrip by 78 per cent to Rs 39.95 at BSE. The NYSE-listed firm could also face regulator action in the US.

The government, regulator SEBI and the industry reacted with shock and anguish over the turn of events that could tarnish India's corporate and raise vital issue like ethics, corporate governance and accounting and business practices.

Acting in tandem, Corporate Affairs Ministry and SEBI announced that the episode would be probed and action taken against the perpetrators of the fraud that entails inflating profits and creating fictitious assets.

"I am now prepared to subject myself to the laws of the land and face consequences thereof," Raju said in a letter to SEBI and the Board of Directors, while giving details of how the profits were inflated over the years and his failed attempts to "fill the fictitious assets with real ones."

The Maytas firms, although promoted by his family, proved to be his nemesis, with Raju saying: "The aborted Maytas acquisition deal was the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones... But that was not to be. What followed in the last seven days is common knowledge."

While the government said the entire issue would be referred to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, SEBI described it as an event of "horrifying magnitude." "It was like riding a tiger not knowing how to get off without being eaten," said Raju.

Removal from Sensex, Nifty

Satyam Computers may be removed from the Sensex and Nifty following the revelation of manipulation in the company's accounts, analysts said. Rajiv Mehta, senior analyst with India Infoline, a large brokerage house said his firm has immediately stopped covering Satyam and many other brokerage houses are also expected to do the same. There will not be any investor interest in the company anyway. The company may be removed from sensex and nifty, he said.

With the fall in its stock prices, Satyam has lost its weightage in the sensex considerably over the recent past and currently has weightage of only 1.56 as of Tuesday. While in nifty, the weightage is only 0.63 per cent.

B Ramalinga Raju can get a 7-year jail term

Satyam Computer Chairman B Ramalinga Raju can face seven years' imprisonment in addition to monetary penalties for forging accounts, breach of trust and misappropriating funds.

"He (Raju) can be charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for falsification of accounts, cheating and breach of trust. These offences attract a maximum penalty of seven years," said a senior partner of law firm Titus and Company, Diljeet Titus.

Expressing a similar opinion, senior Supreme Court advocate C A Sundaram said, "If the admissions (made by Raju in his resignation letter) are true, it is a very serious matter. It would be violation of (the) SEBI (code), Company Law and the IPC".

Another senior advocate and corporate law practitioner U K Chaudhary said the Satyam chief could be imprisoned for seven years under various provisions of company law. "Under section 628 of the Companies Act, which deals with misrepresentation of accounts, he could be punished for a maximum of 2 years along with penalty. However, the punishment term could be extended to seven years for producing false affidavits and other documents," he said.

In addition to Raju, Titus said "action should also be taken against Chief Financial Officers, Finance Managers, and Legal and Tax Advisors for their complicity in this episode".

Suggesting that the CBI should get into the case, he said if appropriate action is not taken, the Satyam fiasco would "make a mockery of the Indian enforcement mechanism".

NSE to remove Satyam shares from Nifty from January 12

MUMBAI: National Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it will remove Satyam Computer Services Ltd from its S&P CNX Nifty 50-share index from Jan 12.

The head of the outsourcing firm resigned on Wednesday, disclosing profits had been falsely inflated for years, sending its shares crashing nearly 80 percent.

The exchange did not give any reason for the change. Anil Ambani-group firm Reliance Capital Ltd will replace Satyam in the main index, the exchange said in a statement. Satyam will also be excluded from the CNX 100 index, CNX 500 index and the CNX IT index.

Satyam is a component of the Bombay Stock Exchange's main 30-share index <.BSESN>, the country's benchmark index. The BSE has not made any statement on Satyam as yet.

Satyam: Full text of Ramalinga Raju letter to the Board

Satyam Computers Services Ltd.

From B. Ramalinga Raju
Chairman, Satyam Computer Servcies Ltd

Dear Board Members,

It is with deep regret, and tremendous burden that I am carrying on my conscience, that I would like to bring the following facts to your notice:

1. The balance sheet carries as of September 30, 2008

a) Inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balance of Rs 5,040 crore (as against Rs 5361 crore refglected in the books)

b) An accured interest of Rs 376 crore which is non-existent

c) An understated liability of Rs 1,230 crore on account of funds arranged by me

d) An over stated debtor position of Rs 490 crore (as against Rs 2651 reflected in the books)

2. For the September quarter (Q2) we reported a revenue of Rs 2,700 crore and an operating margin of Rs 649 crore (24 per cent of revenues) as against the actual revenues of Rs 2,112 crore and an actual operating margin of Rs 61 crore (3 per cent of revenue). This has resulted in artificial cash and bank balances going up by Rs 588 crore in Q2 alone.

The gap in the balance sheet has arisen purely on account of inflated profits over a period of last several years (limited only to Satyam standalone, books of subsidiaries reflecting true performance). What started as a marginal gap between actual operating profit and the one reflected in the books of accounts continued to grow over the years. It has attained unmanageable proportions as the size of the company operations grew significantly (annualized revenue run rate of Rs 11,276 crore in the September quarter, 2008 and official reserves of Rs 8.392 crore). The differential in the real profits and the one reflected in the books was further accentuated by the fact that the company had to carry additional resources and assets to justify higher level of operations – thereby significantly increasing the costs.

Every attempt made to eliminate the gap failed. As the promoters held a small percentage of equity, the concern was the poor performance would result in a takeover, thereby exposing the gap. It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten.

The aborted Maytas acquisition deal was the last attempt to fill the fictitious assets with real ones. Maytas’ investors were convinced that this is a good divestment opportunity and a strategic fit. Once Satyam’s problem was solved, it was hoped that Maytas payments can be delayed. But that was not to be. What followed in the last several days is common knowledge.

I would like the board to know:

1. That neither myself, not the Managing Director(including our spouses) sold any shares in the last eight years-excepting for a small proportion declared and sold for philanthropic purposes.

2. That in the last two years a net amount of Rs 1,230 crore was arranged to Satyam (not reflected in the books of Satyam) to keep the operations going by resorting to pledging all the promoter shares and raising funds from know sources by giving all kinds of assurances (Statement enclosed, only to the members of the board). Significant dividend payments, acquisitions, capital expenditure to provide for growth did not help matters. Every attempt was made to keep the wheel moving and to ensure prompt payment of salaries to the associates. The last straw was the selling of most of the pledged share by the lenders on account of margin triggers.

3. That neither me, nor the Managing Director took even one rupee/dollar from the company and have not benefitted in financial terms on account of the inflated results.

4. None of the board members, past or present, had any knowledge of the situation in which the company is placed. Even business leaders and senior executives in the company, such as Ram Mynampati, Subu D T R Anand, Kesab Panda, Virender Agarwal, A S Murthy, Hari T, S V Krishnan, Vijay Prasad, Manish Mehta, Murali V, Sriram Papani, Kiran Kavale, Joe Lagioia. Ravindra Penu Metsa, Jayaraman and Prabhakar Gupta are unaware of the real situation as against the books of accounts. None of my or managing directors immediate or extended family members has any ideas about these issues.

Having put the facts before you, I leave it to the wisdom of the board to take the matters forward. However, I am also taking the liberty to recommend the following steps:

1) A task force has been formed in the last few days to address the situation arising out of the failed Maytas acquisition attempt. This consists of some of the most accomplished leaders of Satyam: Subu D, T R Anand, Keshab Panda and Virender Aggarwal, representing business functions, and A.S.Murthy, Hari T and Murali V representing support functions. I suggest that Ram Mynampati be made the Chairman of this task force to immediately address some of the operational matters on hand. Ram can also act as an interim CEO reporting to the board.

2) Merrill Lynch can be entrusted with the task of quickly exploring some merger opportunities.

3) You may have a ‘restatement of accounts’ prepared by auditors in light of the facts that I have placed before you.

I have promoted and have been associated with Satyam for well over twenty years now. I have seen it grow from few people to 53,000 people, with 185 Fortune 500 companies as customers and operations in 66 countries. Satyam has an excellent leadership and competency base at all levels. I sincerely apologize to all Satyamites and stakeholders who have made Satyam a special organization, for the current situation. I am confident they will stand by the company in this hour of crisis.
in light of the above, I fervently appeal to the board to hold together to take some important steps. Mt T R Prasad is well placed to mobalize support from the government at this crucial time. With the hope that members of the Task Force and the financila advisor, Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America) will stand by the company at this crucial hour, I am marking copies of this statement to them as well.

Under the circumustances, I am tendering my resignation as the chairman of Satyam and shall continue in this position only till such time the current board is expanded. My contribution is just to ensure enhancement of the board over the next several days or as early as possible.

I am now prepared to subject myself to the laws of the land and fact the consequences thereof.

(B. Ramalinga Raju)

Copied marked to:
1) SEBI Chairman
2) Stock Exchanges