Cognizant, Infosys share NASDAQ honours


Software services major Infosys Technologies and U.S listed predominantly Indian firm Cognizant Technology Solution have been included in the select list of Nasdaq companies that adhere to the highest listing standards in the world. Come July, and these two companies will be traded in Nasdaq’s Global Select Market, a new market tier created by this US exchange to trade in these elite stocks.

The Global Select Market is being created for companies that meet the most stringent initial financial listing standards ever set by a stock market, a Nasdaq release said. Inclusion in this elite market tier is a mark of achievement and stature for qualified companies which are models of leadership and have met the highest standards of any market in the world.

In India, Infosys has been one of the select band of companies that has set corporate governance and disclosure standards. It was also the first Indian company to take the American Depositary Receipts (ADR) route to get listed on any of the US exchanges. The Bangalore-based company publishes its accounts that adhere to the accounting of more than three countries, including Indian, US and Japanese.

Also Infosys’ chairman NR Narayana Murthy was the chairman of a committee set up by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to study and suggest ways to improve the corporate governance standards in the country. Famously called Narayana Murthy Committee report on Corporate Governance, the report was submitted in February 2003.

Other than Infosys and cognizant, two other companies of Indian origin Covansys and Syntel also found a place in the Nasdaq’s market or elite companies. While most of the operations of Cognizant, Covansys and Syntel are located in India, these companies are listed only on the Nasdaq.

However, two Indian companies have also lost out to be traded in the new marketplace Rediff and Sify. These companies are listed on Nasdaq’s regular market segment and would continue to be traded there.

The US bourse said that every year it would review the list of companies in the global market segment and the companies in the revised list would start trading in this segment from January of the following year.

To sum up Transparency & Corporate Governance are given the top most priority by Nasdaq for enlisting firms as ‘elite’. Some of the remarkable features in this context are,

§ Nasdaq created the Global Select market to trade in firms that meet the most stringent initial financial listing standards.

§ Infosys has been at the forefront of setting corporate governance and disclosure standards in India.

§ Infosys mentor NR Narayana Murthy headed the committee set up by Sebi to study and suggest ways to improve corporate governance standards.

§ Infosys was the first Indian company to issue ADRs.

§ Two other Indian companies Covansys, Syntel also in Nasdaq’s new market for elite.

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