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Infosys to return up to $2 billion to shareholders; appoints co-chairman

Ravi Venkatesan, an independent director, has been appointed as co-chairman of the board.

business Updated: Apr 13, 2017 10:57 IST
Ravi Venkatesan, an independent director, has been appointed as co-chairman of the board.
Ravi Venkatesan, an independent director, has been appointed as co-chairman of the board.(Reuters file )

Infosys Ltd, India’s second-biggest software services exporter, said on Thursday it would return up to $2 billion to shareholders, yielding to pressure for a share buyback from a group of founders and former executives.

It also announced the appointment of Ravi Venkatesan, an independent director, as co-chairman of the board - part of efforts to address the founders’ corporate governance concerns.

Some founders and former executives of the Bengaluru-based company have publicly accused its board of governance lapses and urged it to follow the lead of rival Tata Consultancy Services that announced a $2.4 billion share buyback in February.

Infosys said it would return up to Rs 130 billion ($2.02 billion) to shareholders in the fiscal year ending March 2018, adding the manner of the payout will be decided by the board.

However, Infosys shares fell 2.4% in early trading on Thursday, as the market had been hoping for a larger payout.

The company also reported a small rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 36.03 billion ($559.45 million) in the three months to March, while revenue grew 3.4% to Rs 171.20 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected a consolidated profit of Rs 35.67 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Infosys said it expects revenue for the year 2017-18 to grow 6.5% to 8.5% in constant currency terms.