The decision to split stock will enhance broader investor participation specifically retail participation and increase in demand, SBI said
State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender on Wednesday said its board approved reduction in the face value of its shares to Re1 from Rs10 and subsequently increase number of issued shares in proportion.
In a release, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman of SBI said, “The decision to split stock will enhance broader investor participation specifically retail participation and increase in demand will enhance P/E Ratio”.
The reduction in face value would also reflect in its existing GDR programme.
SBI closed Wednesday 2.7% down at Rs2487 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day marginally down at 26,744.7.
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This judgement could turn the tide in favour of consumers and end-users
For decades now, we have been listening to the automobile industry moan and groan about the supposed high taxes and duties slowing sales. All this while, the same automobile industry has been happily notching up 100% to 1,000% margins on sales of spare parts and services. In addition to locking customers in with high repair costs simply because spares are not available anywhere else.
Moneylife first wrote about this in 2010, again in 2011 and then in 2012. There have been more than a few exchanges between this writer and the authorities as well as the automobile companies in India on this subject. This outright theft was not always the case, and in an era ‘before Maruti’, it was like this:
• Warranties were short, six months or a year at best, and difficult to implement.
• Motor vehicles were simpler and could be fixed with parts that had multiple usage or across different brands.
• Spare parts from original equipment manufacturers were available at nominal mark-ups of 25% or so in the open market.
• All garages would repair all vehicles and, soon enough, you learnt who was good with which kind of repair or brand.
As a result, small enterprises flourished in India and maintenance as well as repair skill-sets went across a broad spectrum of people, from owner-operator-drivers to workshop staff and owners. To some extent, this also provided a core of people who were real engineers, who knew what to do with their hands and tool-kits.
The full Competition Commission of India (CCI) judgement can be read at http://www.cci.gov.in/May2011/OrderOfCommission/27/032011.pdf, but there are some additional points this column would like to raise in the appropriate forums as well as with the automobile manufacturers, dealers and their associations.
• Motor vehicles have more computing power built-in now than powerful computers. So, software upgrades for these onboard computers and the hardware therein need to be free of charge on single-user per-vehicle basis for the life of the vehicle. The reasons are obvious—safety is directly impacted, if upgrades are not provided.
• The CCI decision does not appear to include two-wheelers, three-wheelers, trucks and buses. There should have been a parallel enquiry, investigation and decision on them, as well.
• Some manufacturers have started introducing proprietary technologies on batteries and tyres too, like electronic controllers and software-based modules for resetting the controllers if you change them and charge huge extras for this locked-in service.
• In other cases, manufacturers refuse to supply spare parts soon after a model is discontinued or replaced with a newer version in India, while in other countries, they continue to provide support for decades after production has ceased.
• Automobile manufacturers claiming intellectual property rights (IPR) were informed that in a technology transfer, transfer of IPR is not automatic, as IPR is territorial in nature.
• Likewise, copyright abroad is not automatic in India; it needs to be registered in India. And, if not registered, then copyright ceases to exist once the design in question is applied more than 50 times in an industrial process by the owner of the copyright or a licencee.
• Confidentiality protection is not ‘automatic’ from manufacturer to supplier, and ‘trade secrets’ are not protected under IPR.
In addition, it seems that the dealers are organising themselves to come out against these cartels and gouging tactics by manufacturers. It is this writer’s submission that automobile manufacturers should provide Indian customers with the same, or better, facilities than they do in other countries. As of now, that is not happening and customers are getting ripped off left, right and centre.
(Veeresh Malik started and sold a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing. He is also involved in helping small and midsize family-run businesses re-invent themselves.)