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Friday, Mar 26, 2004

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FII cap in Satnam Overseas hiked to 51 per cent

Our Bureau

New Delhi , March 25

FOREIGN institutional investors (FIIs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have been allowed to acquire up to 51 per cent holding in Satnam Overseas Ltd (SOL), a leading basmati rice exporter. This is as against the existing 24 per cent permitted investment limit for FIIs/NRIs/OCBs in the paid-up capital of the company.

Currently, the Indian promoters hold 70.10 per cent of SOL's equity, with the Indian public (15.53 per cent) and FIIs (10.07 per cent) being the other major investors. The 10.07 per cent FII holding includes the 5.10 per cent share that was acquired from the market on December 10, 2003 by Merrill Lynch Capital Markets Espana SA.

When asked about the rationale behind raising the permissible FII limit from 24 per cent to 51 per cent, given that the current holding was just 10.07 per cent, a company official told Business Line that "we have been approached by some investors".

The decision to hike the limit was taken by way of a special resolution passed through a postal ballot on February 28, which has been registered with the Registrar of Companies on March 11. The official, however, refused to divulge the details regarding the FIIs who had sought to make the additional investment.

For the year ending March 31, 2003, SOL recorded a profit after tax of Rs 9.49 crore on sales of Rs 453.90 crore.

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