This excerpt taken from the INFY 6-K filed Jul 28, 2005.
Risks Related to the ADSs
Historically, our ADSs have traded at a significant premium to the trading prices of our underlying equity shares, a situation which may not continue.
Historically, our ADSs have traded on Nasdaq at a substantial premium to the trading prices of our underlying equity shares on the Indian stock exchanges. We believe that this price premium has resulted from the relatively small portion of our market capitalization previously represented by ADSs, restrictions imposed by Indian law on the conversion of equity shares into ADSs, and an apparent preference of some investors to trade dollar-denominated securities. We have already completed two secondary ADS offerings, and the completion of any additional secondary ADS offering will significantly increase the number of our outstanding ADSs. Also, over time, some of the restrictions on the issuance of ADSs imposed by Indian law have been relaxed and we expect that other restrictions may be relaxed in the future. As a result, the historical premium enjoyed by ADSs as compared to equity shares may be reduced or eliminated upon the completion of any secondary offering of our ADSs or similar transactions in the future, a change in Indian law permitting further conversion of equity shares into ADSs or changes in investor preferences.
Sales of our equity shares may adversely affect the prices of our equity shares and the ADSs.
Sales of substantial amounts of our equity shares, including sales by our insiders, in the public market, or the perception that such sales may occur, could adversely affect the prevailing market price of our equity shares or the ADSs or our ability to raise capital through an offering of our securities. In the future, we may also sponsor the sale of shares currently held by some of our shareholders, or issue new shares. We can make no prediction as to the timing of any such sales or the effect, if any, that future sales of our equity shares, or the availability of our equity shares for future sale, will have on the market price of our equity shares or ADSs prevailing from time to time.
An active or liquid trading market for our ADSs is not assured.
An active, liquid trading market for our ADSs may not be maintained in the long term. Loss of liquidity could increase the price volatility of our ADSs.
Indian law imposes certain restrictions that limit a holders ability to transfer the equity shares obtained upon conversion of ADSs and repatriate the proceeds of such transfer which may cause our ADSs to trade at a premium or discount to the market price of our equity shares.
Under certain circumstances, the Reserve Bank of India must approve the sale of equity shares underlying ADSs by a non-resident of India to a resident of India. The Reserve Bank of India has given general permission to effect sales of existing shares or convertible debentures of an Indian company by a resident to a non-resident, subject to certain conditions, including the price at which the shares may be sold. Additionally, except under certain limited
circumstances, if an investor seeks to convert the rupee proceeds from a sale of equity shares in India into foreign currency and then repatriate that foreign currency from India, he or she will have to obtain Reserve Bank of India approval for each such transaction. Required approval from the Reserve Bank of India or any other government agency may not be obtained on terms favorable to a non-resident investor or at all.
An investor in our ADSs may not be able to exercise preemptive rights for additional shares and may thereby suffer dilution of his or her equity interest in us.
Under the Companies Act, 1956, or the Indian Companies Act, a company incorporated in India must offer its holders of equity shares preemptive rights to subscribe and pay for a proportionate number of shares to maintain their existing ownership percentages prior to the issuance of any new equity shares, unless such preemptive rights have been waived by three-fourths of the shares voting on the resolution to waive such rights. Holders of ADSs may be unable to exercise preemptive rights for equity shares underlying ADSs unless a registration statement under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), is effective with respect to such rights or an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act is available. We are not obligated to prepare and file such a registration statement and our decision to do so will depend on the costs and potential liabilities associated with any such registration statement, as well as the perceived benefits of enabling the holders of ADSs to exercise their preemptive rights, and any other factors we consider appropriate at the time. No assurance can be given that we would file a registration statement under these circumstances. If we issue any such securities in the future, such securities may be issued to the Depositary, which may sell such securities for the benefit of the holders of the ADSs. There can be no assurance as to the value, if any, the Depositary would receive upon the sale of such securities. To the extent that holders of ADSs are unable to exercise preemptive rights granted in respect of the equity shares represented by their ADSs, their proportional interests in us would be reduced.
ADS holders may be restricted in their ability to exercise voting rights.
At our request, the Depositary will mail to holders of our ADSs any notice of shareholders meeting received from us together with information explaining how to instruct the Depositary to exercise the voting rights of the securities represented by ADSs. If the Depositary receives voting instructions from a holder of our ADSs in time, relating to matters that have been forwarded to such holder, it will endeavor to vote the securities represented by such holders ADSs in accordance with such voting instructions. However, the ability of the Depositary to carry out voting instructions may be limited by practical and legal limitations and the terms of the securities on deposit. We cannot assure that holders of our ADSs will receive voting materials in time to enable such holders to return voting instructions to the Depositary in a timely manner. Securities for which no voting instructions have been received will not be voted. There may be other communications, notices or offerings that we only make to holders of our equity shares, which will not be forwarded to holders of ADSs. Accordingly, holders of our ADSs may not be able to participate in all offerings, transactions or votes that are made available to holders of our equity shares.