Satyam asks World Bank to explain; issues a non-denial

Satyam asks World Bank to explain; issues a non-denial

Hyderabad: Adding to the prevailing confusion by continuing to sidestep queries about what actually transpired, Satyam Computer Services Ltd issued a statement on Christmas evening “vigorously" objecting to “inappropriate statements" made by the World Bank.

The bank confirmed this week that it had banned Satyam for eight years over alleged improper benefits to bank staff and lack of documentation. Since October, when news of Satyam’s problems with the bank surfaced, the firm has declined to comment on specifics.

On Thursday evening, Satyam’s statement said it asked that “the World Bank immediately withdraw those statements, that it issue a new statement apologizing to Satyam for the harm done to the company due to the bank’s actions, and that it provide Satyam with a full explanation of the circumstances related to the bank’s inappropriate statement".

Without specifically denying any facts in the saga, Satyam’s statement held out the threat of potential litigation against the bank, saying it will “evaluate all possible options".

The bank’s India-based spokesman said it stands by its official statement.

Satyam’s statement claimed it doesn’t “usually" comment about customer issues, but “the inaccuracy and inappropriateness of the World Bank’s public statements" had “forced" it to issue a brief statement “to set the record straight". A Satyam spokesperson refused to elaborate.

Satyam’s management practices and corporate governance have come under a cloud since 16 December when it tried to buy two companies linked to the family of chairman B. Ramalinga Raju for $1.6?billion (Rs7,840?crore?now) but had to hastily abandon the plan as its shares plunged. Satyam’s shares are still down 41% since that failed deal.