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`Infy breakthrough into Nasdaq-100 could trigger Indian listings'

Virendra Verma
Vinod Mathew

Mumbai , Oct. 21

NASDAQ is keenly awaiting the qualification of Infosys Technologies in the Nasdaq 100 Index , the main index of the exchange, as the trigger that could open the gates for many Indian companies to go for Nasdaq listing, says Mr Stuart C. Patterson, Senior Managing Director, International Corporate Client Group, The Nasdaq Stock Market.

While Mr Patterson is convinced that Infosys qualifies for all the conditions except the market capitalisation, the question remains as to when this would actually happen.

This, as the market cap of Infosys at $800 million on Nasdaq falls way short of the $1.3 billion market cap of the company that features at fag-end of the Nasdaq 100 Index.

However, the Nasdaq bosses express confidence on the count that the Infosys price had moved up significantly during the past two months, post bonus.

On Nasdaq, the ADR of Infosys has gone up by 50 per cent, from $40 and to over $62.

"It will be great incentive both for Infosys and Nasdaq when they break into the top 100. They are very close and it is a matter of months now. That will be the landmark that could trigger a clutch of Indian companies that are headed for listing in the American bourses to turn to Nasdaq," Mr Patterson said.

The Indian drought for Nasdaq has been a pretty severe one as the last listing of an Indian company there was a good four years ago, by Rediff.com in June 2000. Prior to that, there were two listings, Infosys in March 1999 and Sify Ltd in October 1999.

Therafter, the Indian companies have stayed away from the `techie' stock exchange even as the New York Stock Exchange has witnessed eight listings, the last one being by Tata Motors a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, there has been a surge of Chinese companies on Nasdaq, with this year alone coming good for nine listing, to add to the tally of six since 2000.

"We hope to take the tally of the Chinese listings to 20 by the year end. This has a good chance to go up to 40 next year.

"We are looking for at least five firm Nasdaq listings by Indian companies in the first half of 2005. Most of these were scheduled for this year and put off by the respective companies", Mr Patterson said.

The Nasdaq Stock Market, that has an Indian office in Bangalore, is now out wooing those Indian companies that are going for ADRs to consider Nasdaq as an alternative to NYSE.

And being cited among the reasons for doing so include higher liquidity than at NYSE.

The other reason, of course, is the lower listing fee of $1,00,000 to 1,50,000 as against $1,50,000 to $2,50,000 at the NYSE.

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