Shares of India’s IT bellwether Infosys surged by more than 1% on Tuesday morning, after the company fixed November 1, 2017 as the record date for its share buyback programme. On August 19, Infosys had announced that it will buyback 11.3 crore shares or 4.92 percent of equity capital at Rs 1,150 apiece, spending Rs 13,000 crores.
“The Buyback Committee has approved and fixed November 1, 2017 to be the record date for determining the entitlement and the names of the equity shareholders to whom the letter of offer will be sent and will be eligible to participate in the buyback…,” Infosys said in a regulatory filing yesterday.
In August, this year, Infosys had also announced that some of the promoters would participate in the upcoming share buyback of the company. Infosys shares were trading at Rs 934.6, up by more than 1.1% since the previous close. Infosys shares have corrected by more than 8% since January. Analysts say that the buyback provides a very good opportunity for the retail investor to tender their shares. Speaking to FE Online, Ashish Chopra from Motilal Oswal had told in August, “The buyback provides a very good opportunity. The recent correction has made the buyback attractive. The more the price corrects, more alluring the buyback will be.”
Another analyst, who did not wish to be identified had told FE Online that the stock buyback provides a safe haven for retail investors for want of other opportunities, as the markets currently look stretched. Buybacks are a better way to reward shareholders, as paying dividends attracts a hefty dividend distribution tax, said the analyst.
Infosys has a massive $5.25 billion (nearly Rs 34,000 crore) stash of cash, and it is looking for ways to return a part of it to the shareholders, in absence of other productive uses for it. Earlier in April, Infosys said that the management has identified $2 billion (or about Rs 13,000 crore) to be paid to shareholders via share buybacks or dividends. Rajat Sharma of Sana Securities says that post buyback, the company may resort to inorganic acquisitions to utilise the excess cash.