Nasdaq expects over 30 new Indian listings in 2004-05

Wednesday, 19 March 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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The Nasdaq Stock Market feels India has the potential to replace Israel and become the country with the largest number of firms listed on the bourse after the U.S. and Canada.

NEW DELHI: According to Nasdaq officials, at least 30 to 40 Indian companies are likely to get listed on the exchange in 2004-05.

"Some of the industries that are still important for the progress of India are exactly the industries Nasdaq really dominates and has made a great contribution to the world's capital markets," said David Weild, vice chairman of Nasdaq.

"Today, we have three Indian companies listed on the Nasdaq (Infosys Technologies, Satyam Infoway and, compared to over 100 for Israel," Weild told a press conference here.

"But I believe India ultimately could dwarf Israel in number of listings."

Among the sectors Weild mentioned as having potential to list on the tech-laden Nasdaq stock exchange to raise capital include IT solutions, biotechnology, telecommunications and business process outsourcing.

In the biotechnology sector, Weild saw a "great potential" in India, and said Nasdaq was the most suited route to access overseas capital market.

Nasdaq's model of looking at growth potential rather than immediate profits were best suited for biotech firms given the fact that such companies have long gestations before returning profit.

Weild also made it clear that in order to tap the true potential of listing on the Nasdaq, it was imperative for companies listed on it to have their equity research division based in the U.S. because of the time difference.

"You cannot call somebody half way around the world to analyse a stock in the U.S.," he said, adding that that was one of the critical reasons for Israel's success with the American bourses.

Weild said while 97 equity research analysts were covering at least one Israeli stock in the U.S., the ratio was seven analysts for one stock for India.

Alfred R. Berkeley, vice chairman of Nasdaq, said Nasdaq was looking at India with a 15-year perspective and said that was one of the reasons why it had established one of its few offices outside the U.S. in Bangalore.

He said that Nasdaq was also competing with other stock markets to help the Indian government list public sector stocks on overseas bourses as a route for its ambitious divestment program.
Source: IANS

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