Wipro lists on NYSE with marginal premium

By : |October 19, 2000 0

BANGALORE: Wipro Ltd. began its journey on NYSE on Thursday making a gain of more than 10 per cent on the first day. The scrip, which got listed on the bourse with the symbol WIT, opened at $44.5, only slightly higher than its offer price of 41.375. However, an elated Wipro Chairman Azim Premji remarked, “Going by the state of the market, we are more than satisfied.”

The stock closed the day at $49.25, riding on a bull run on the US markets. Also, at the listing price, the ADS was at a discount to the domestic Wipro price, which closed on Thursday at Rs 2222.65.

Speaking to the Indian media from New York over video conferencing, Mr Premji said that the listing price was decided on the basis of the closing price of the previous day. “It so happened that the price went down on Wednesday and this gives the investors a good opportunity to the US investors. They are thanking for the reasonable price,” he said.

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On the occasion, Mr Premji also announced a mass stock option scheme to the staff of Wirpo Technologies, which will cover about 74 per cent of the employees.

Answering a question, Wipro chief made it clear that the listing price was in no way at discount to the Indian market price. He also denied that Wipro stock was illiquid. “Before the ADS issue, we had 15 per cent of out stock floating. Post ADS issue, this has gone up to 16.2 per cent. We have more than 60,000 investors. Our share is not illiquid,” he said.

He said acquisition was just one of the three objectives of raising money through the ADS route. “The three main objectives were getting global currency for acquisitions and global stock options and build more credibility and brand among our customers,” he said, adding, “We are working on acquisitions, but we are far from it.”

On the acquisition plan, Mr Premji said that Wipro was looking for someone who would bring a strong brand into its fold. On the profile of investors in the ADS, they were equally divided between US, Europe and Asia.

Wipro had offered 27.5 lakh ADS at a price of $41.375 per share, raising about $135 million, including the green shoe option of 15 per cent. According to Mr Premji, the ADS issue had got oversubscribed by four times. The company had earlier expected to raise about $300 million from the ADS issue, when it filed for the issue with SEC at the rate of about $63 per share. A cautious Mr Premji said, ” Of course, we would have loved to get listed at $60. The purpose of this ADS issue was not to raise more money. We wanted the ADS price to be at par with that of our Indian shares. Also, for global companies like Wipro, this provides a good opportunity to do a realty check.”

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