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Sunday, April 8, 2007

What is in a name?

Shakespeare's quote would have us believe that it is the substance that matters over mere shape or appearance. This is similar to the substance over form principle in accounting where you record the transaction as per the economic reality and not merely as per legal nomenclature. Law has also taken this stand with the concept of removing the corporate veil to help the Income Tax authorities and for other purposes.

But, our Indian companies seem to believe in this strongly. Where else would you see a sugar company have the name of an engineering company- for example Triveni Engineering? Or a financial services company have the name "Vakrangee Software"?

I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear. Such names are quite misleading to any lay person. Any person who goes on the basis of a hot stock tip will not know the truth. SEBI should wake up and delist such companies- or at least have them, change their names to reflect their substance.

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