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Public issues abroad help build brands

BS Bureaus in Mumbai | September 04, 2003 10:43 IST

Indian IT companies make public issues abroad not to raise money but to get brand recognition, said Deepak Ghaisas, chief financial officer of i-flex solutions, at the CFO Summit 2003 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Ghasias emphasised branding as a crucial part of his company's financial strategy, not just for curtailing costs but for enhancing the value of intangible assets.

He pointed out that the primary reason i-flex sought a listing in the international market was to emphasise its brand rather than raising money.

"A CFO needs to know facts, be consistent in his observations, articulate and innovative in strategies," said S Naganath, joint president & CIO, DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers.

Earlier, ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar said: "In the current competitive environament, CFOs have to be consumer oriented to ensure sustainable growth of the business. Similarly, CFOs are expected to act as custodians of planning and performance management."

Speaking on mergers and acquisitions, Dhanpal Jhaveri, head-M&A advisory, ICICI Securities, said Indian companies have realised that India is not the only market for mergerssa and acquisitions and have started looking beyond the country.

The key hurdle the Indian economy has to overcome is availability of finance, he added.

Naina Lal Kidwai, managing director of HSBC Securities, said private equity firms are taking position in the market.

For example, ICICI Ventures' (the private equity arm of ICICI Bank) acquisition of media and publishing company Tata Infomedia.

Kishore Chaukar, managing director of Tata Industries, said acquisition need not be cash per se, but there are different options available for acquisition - either through stock and preference capital.

Cyril Shroff, managing partner of law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas, said banks and financial institutions have also stepped in the restructuring of companies and for acquisition financing.

However, the lender and the buyer has to take risk in associating with a particular transaction.

Sumant Sinha, A V Birla group's president (finance), said the rules of engagement for any merger and acquisition is that one should not get emotionally involved.

"Every business has a price. At a price every business is buyable. Also, every business has a walk away price - one should look at the maximum price to be paid for an acquisition and should try not to increase the price."

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