Mumbai: Infosys Technologies Ltd emerged as the company most trusted by the 20 fund managers, stock brokers and stock market analysts who participated in a snap poll done by Mint on Thursday, in the aftermath of the accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
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The other favourites were five companies in the Tata group—Tata Communications Ltd, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Tata Motors Ltd, Tata Power Co. Ltd and Tata Steel Ltd, which were sometimes jointly rated by the respondents as part of a single group and sometimes mentioned individually. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC) and HDFC Bank Ltd followed in the rankings.
The participants in the poll were asked to identify which among the 50 constitutents of the Nifty, the main stock index of the National Stock Exchange, they thought had the best and worst corporate governance practices, based on three parameters: who sits on the board of directors, the level of corporate governance and ethical standards. Some respondents mentioned just one company while others picked more than one. The names of the laggards will be published in the Saturday edition of Mint.
The snap poll was done a day after former Satyam chairman B. Ramalinga Raju admitted in a letter that the company’s books had been cooked to hide problems. The share prices of Satyam and many other companies, which are perceived by investors to be less trustworthy, were hammered on Wednesday in a brutal sell-off. The stock markets were closed on Thursday for Moharram. Analysts say that the quality of corporate governance will be an important driver of share prices in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, a similar online poll conducted on our website (www.livemint.com) drew 42 responses by late Thursday evening. Infosys once again topped the charts, followed by Wipro Ltd, the Tata group and Larsen and Toubro Ltd.
Ravi Krishnan contributed to this story.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint