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HCL Tech Follows Peers To Announce Rs 3,500-Crore Buyback

Software services provider HCL Technologies Ltd. will follow the lead of domestic rivals Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. to reward shareholders by buying back a 16.4 percent stake.

The board of HCL Technologies approved repurchase of 3.5 crore shares at Rs 1,000 a piece, aggregating to a total consideration of Rs 3,500 crore, a stock exchange filing said.

In February, TCS announced a buyback worth Rs 16,000 crore for 5.61 crore shares at Rs 2,850 a piece.

IT companies have come under growing pressure from investors to reward shareholders through share buybacks or generous dividends. Last year, hedge fund Elliot Management Corporation disclosed a stake in Cognizant and called on the company announce a buyback and start paying dividends. Eventually, the company announced a plan to return $3.4 billion to shareholders over the next two years through buybacks and dividends.

The issue of shareholder payout was raised again in February 2017, this time by three Infosys Ltd.’s founders Narayana Murthy, Nandan NIlekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan, who wrote to the board raising a host of issues, including that of cash allocation. The company is not averse to a buyback, Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao had said.

Indian companies had bought back shares worth Rs 28,290 crore till January 31, 2017, an all-time high in any financial year.

Also Read: Dividends Or Buyback: How Should Companies Share Rs 25,000-Crore Surplus Cash?