Indian IT's Big Four build $9 bn cash chest

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SummaryThe combined cash position of these companies stood at about USD 8 billion at the start of 2013-14 financial year.

Country's top four IT companies -- TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies -- have seen their combined cash chest swell to a whopping USD 9 billion (Rs 56,000 crore) as their businesses continue to generate profitable growth despite turbulent macroeconomic scenario.

This marks an increase of about USD one billion since the beginning of current fiscal in the four companies' cumulative cash position, which includes cash, cash equivalents, bank deposits and disposable financial investments. The combined cash position of these companies stood at about USD 8 billion at the start of 2013-14 financial year.

Individually, Tata group's IT arm, N Chandrasekaran-led TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) reported total cash and cash equivalents of USD 1.22 billion as on September 30, 2013.

Its closest rival, N R N Murthy-led Infosys also saw its cash balance stand at USD 4.31 billion at the end of September 30, 2013. Significantly, Infosys accounts for nearly half of the total USD 9 billion cash chest of the four IT giants.

Azim Premji-led Wipro, which continued to post slowest sequential growth in revenues in the quarter ended September 30 among the four companies, reported a cash chest of USD 2.5 billion.

HCL Technologies, the country's fourth largest IT firm, ended September quarter with cash and cash equivalents, (including deposits) of USD 979 million.

Amid expectations that the growing cash position of these companies would be deployed into purposes aimed at generating additional shareholder wealth, all the four companies have seen robust rallies in their respective share prices.

TCS, which commands nearly Rs 4 lakh crore market value, has seen its stock rise from Rs 1,500 levels to over Rs 2,000 range so far in the current fiscal.

Infosys, which has seen a kind of exodus of senior executives in recent months, has also performed strongly in the stock market since Murthy's return and the shares have risen from Rs 2,900 level to above Rs 3,400 now.

Wipro's share price has surged from Rs 440 level to about Rs 480 at present, while HCL Technologies saw its shares soar from Rs 800 range to Rs 1,100 now.

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