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Since 1st March, 1999
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Hint of Infosys stock split

Bangalore, June 11: Infosys Technologies will consider a proposal to split the company’s share to woo more small investors. At present, the share has a face value of Rs 5, which may be split to Re 1.

“To mark the silver jubilee year of the company in 2006, the management should split its stock into five of Re 1 so that small investors can buy more shares,” Shivshankarappa, a shareholder, said.

In reply, Infosys chairman N. R. Naryana Murthy said: “The heart of the (Infosys) board members is in the right place....It's with less advantaged sections of society. It's a good suggestion. The board will deliberate on it.”

Earlier, in his address to the shareholders, Murthy said Infosys was on its way to becoming a $2-billion company in the current financial year.

“Our success hinges on our ability to manage rapid growth. Today we have all the ingredients to manage growth ' best-in-class talent, scalable processes, integrated systems and state-of-the-art infrastructure,” he said.

Murthy said his company would increase its focus on off-shore development to improve the client’s core capabilities. “Corporations have shifted away form the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to outsourcing. Firms now view global outsourcing as a strategic function that impacts their value-chain, capabilities and competitive position. Our clients have begun to see us as long-term partners working with them to contribute to their business goals,” he said.

“Our Chinese development centre is doing well. We have 12 customers and we hope to get more this year. This centre will play an important role as we progress,” he added.

“We have a group that is looking at acquisitions. If we find a good candidate, we will certainly move forward. There is no target date for any acquisition,” he said.

Murthy said the company's goal is to earn ROCE (return on capital employed) that is at least two times the cost of capital, and ROIC (return on invested capital) that is at least three times the cost of capital. He added that the company's dividend policy dictates that it limit any dividend payout to not more than 20 per cent of net income. “We are a high growth company. We need cash”. In keeping with its dividend policy, the board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 6.50 per share (130 per cent).

Political ambitions

Murthy today asserted that he has no political ambitions at all. Responding to media queries he said: “No, I have no political ambitions at all, absolutely not.”

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