Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Mar 08, 2002
Corporate - Announcements
After dividend rush come cancellations
MUMBAI, March 7
MANY companies seem to have buckled under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) whip asking the stock exchanges to ensure that India Inc goes by the book on interim dividend payments for the year 2001-02.
Among the first to decide against the dividend pay-outs were the Reliance group, Punjab Tractors and EIH Ltd.
SEBI had told stock exchanges on Wednesday to ensure that companies complied with the 30 and 42 days notice period for book closure and record date for dividend payments respectively.
RIL today informed the SEs that it will be securing the consent of its board of directors through circular resolution for revocation of the interim dividend.
All other listed Reliance companies, including Reliance Petroleum Ltd, Reliance Capital Ltd and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd also followed suit, informing SEs the respective boards would be considering the revocation of dividend payments.
Exide Industries Ltd, on the other hand, has cancelled the board meeting at which the company was to decide on interim dividend.
There are others who have yet to take a decision. Tata Steel's board of directors has yet to decide when to meet for taking any decision. "No final decision has been taken on the dividend pay-out as yet. The board has to meet and decide on the matter," said Mr R.C. Nandrajog, Vice-President Finance, Tata Steel. Among the other Tata group companies, the Tata Power board, which had announced an interim dividend of Rs 5 earlier this week, will decide on the issue on March 8.
Textile major Bombay Dyeing too will take a view tomorrow, according to Mr P Govindan, Company Secretary.
A Cipla official said, "As of now things are not very clear. We may take a decision by tonight or tomorrow morning."
Blue Star Infotech's spokesperson said: "Our board met and declared a dividend today. However, it is not clear at this stage if we will go ahead with the payments. We have the intention to pay but if the Government puts its foot down, there is nothing much we can do. We will have to wait and see what happens."
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