MUMBAI: Two days after Infosys Ltd chairman Nandan Nilekani invoked God to defend the sanctity of the company’s numbers, Ajay Tyagi, chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Friday said the regulator’s probe into the whistleblower complaints is still on.
“The investors, if they want, can take comfort from Infosys statement but our probe is still on. This is all I can tell you,” said Tyagi on the sidelines of a financial markets summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Nilekani on Wednesday, at an analysts’ meet, had said, “Infosys has strong processes; even God can’t change the numbers of this company. Our finance team is feeling insulted by these allegations. But I don’t want to bias the investigation.”
“You have to ask him (Nilekani about Infosys numbers) or you can actually ask God” Tyagi said.
On 21 October, Infosys said it received an anonymous whistleblower complaint alleging “unethical practices” by senior executives, including CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy, to boost short-term revenue and profit. A day later, Nilekani, in a stock exchange filing, had said the complaints were “being dealt with in an objective manner”.
Sebi is currently probing the veracity of the allegations and investigating a huge buildup of derivatives positions in Infosys Ltd’s stock before the whistleblower allegations were made public.
Amid reports of rating agencies being caught napping on taking action on issuers before they default, Tyagi said, “in many cases rating agencies have been blamed and rightly so. But in some cases they do not get timely default information or the issuers are not cooperating.”
“We have taken cognisance of that” he added.
Mint had reported on 18 September that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Sebi are working on a framework that will allow for freer and more accurate exchange of borrower data between banks and credit rating agencies. That apart Sebi is also working on new set of reforms to boost Infrastructure Investment Trusts or Invits.
The markets regulator will soon come out with regulation that will allow Invits to raise funds through preferential allotment and rights issue in line with what is allowed to companies under the Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements.