Promoter Holding In Silverline Technologies Down To 2.74%

Mumbai, March 30: | Updated: Mar 31 2003, 05:30am hrs
Promoter holding in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed software company Silverline Technologies dwindled to a minuscule 2.74 per cent in December 31, 2002 as against a holding of 19.85 per cent a year back. The sharp fall in promoters holding is raising eyebrows about the companys financial health.

As per records with The Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE), the companys foreign promoters -- Silverline Holdings Corporation held 15.16 per cent while Subra Mauritius Ltd held 4.67 per cent. However, as on end-December 2002, the holding of Silverline Holdings Corporation dipped below three per cent while the entire holding of Subra Mauritius was liquidated.

Not just the promoters, even institutional investors are trimming whatever small holdings they have in the company. In the last year to December 2002, institutional investors holding slipped to 1.43 per cent from 2.75 per cent, while the holding of individual investors slipped marginally to 45.28 per cent as against 46.72 per cent during the same period.

In the last one year to December 2002, pursuant to the issue of fresh Global Depository Receipts (GDR) in June 2002, the holding under the ADR/GDR column jumped to 31.93 per cent, as compared to 15.32 per cent. The rise in holding during the period under study was also witnessed under private corporate bodies, the holdings of this class of investors nearly doubled to 16.06 per cent as on Decemeber 2002 as against 8.66 per cent on December 2001.

The companys issued capital also nearly got doubled in the period to December 2002 at 16.79 crore shares from a size of 8.56 crore shares as on December 2001.

Sustained efforts to reach company officials proved unsuccessful. In recent times, Silverline has been facing a severe liquidity crunch and has been reported to be unable to pay its employees on time. The company has also defaulted on its payments to Punjab National Bank and Jammu & Kashmir Bank. The company is also on the lookout to dispose of its assets from the business process outsourcing business which it had recently entered.

To tide over the problem of listing arrangement on the NYSE, the board of Silverline had approved amendments in its exchange ratio of American Depository Receipts (ADRs) to its underlying domestic share. For its continued listing on the NYSE, where its ADRs are currently listed below $1, the Silverline board recently approved to amend its existing exchange ratio from two domestic equity shares per ADR to 10 underlying equity shares per ADR.

It may be recalled that i-flex solutions had recently paid a fee of $425,621 to Silverline Technologies for acquiring two clients - Citicorp and Greenpoint Mortgage.