Satyam Demands Apology From World Bank

Indian outsourcer Satyam Computer Services has demanded an apology from the World Bank for statements made after it barred Satyam from the bank's direct contracts for a period of eight years.

Describing statements by World Bank representatives to the media as inappropriate, Satyam demanded on Thursday that the bank withdraw the statements, issue an apology for the harm done to the company due to the bank's actions, and provide Satyam with a full explanation of the circumstances related to the statements.

"Satyam was declared ineligible for contracts for providing improper benefits to Bank staff and for failing to maintain documentation to support fees charged for its subcontractors," the World Bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement from Satyam on Thursday does not question the company being barred from contracts, or ask for the revocation of the bar, but instead objects to statements made by bank representatives. It does not also address the charges under which the World Bank said it was making Satyam ineligible for future contracts.

A spokeswoman for Satyam declined to discuss the matter further.

Satyam usually does not comment publicly on matters involving customer relationships, the company said. However, the inaccuracy and inappropriateness of the World Bank's public statements regarding Satyam has forced it to issue a brief statement in order to set the record straight, it added.

The company, which is India's fourth largest outsourcer, has already come under criticism from investors and analysts, for its moves on Tuesday last week to diversify into the construction business. It rolled back the decision less than a day later after investors knocked down the price of the company's shares by about 55 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Satyam's share price was also down on Wednesday on Indian stock markets by about 15 percent after the World Bank statement.

While the World Bank's decision is a blow to Satyam it will not affect the credibility of other Indian outsourcers, as each outsourcing company is evaluated on its own merits, said an outsourcing analyst who requested anonymity.

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