IT stocks slide on revived H1B visa concerns – 6 Jan 2017

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Seven IT stocks lost 0.9 percent to 2.9 percent on BSE on reports two US Congressmen have reintroduced a bill to curb the use of H-1B visas, on which the Indian IT sector is particularly dependent.

HCL Technologies (down 2.9 percent), Tech Mahindra (down 2.5 percent), Infosys (down 2.3 percent), Oracle Financial Services Software (down 1.6 percent), TCS (down 1.4 percent), Wipro (down 1.2 percent) and Persistent Systems (down 0.9 percent) edged lower.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 116.46 points or 0.43 percent at 26,994.70. The BSE IT index was currently down 1.97 percent, underperforming the Sensex.

The new bill would require workers on the H-1B visa pay a minimum of $ 100,000, up from $ 60,000 currently. The bill also removes the Master’s degree exemption to the cap on the number of visas available, as per reports.

The bill comes after companies such as Disney and Southern California Edison have come under fire for outsourcing their IT operations to Indian companies.

US is the biggest outsourcing market for Indian IT firms.

The S&P BSE IT index had outperformed the market over the past one month till 5 January 2017, advancing 5.25 percent compared with the Sensex’s 2.01 percent rise. The index had also outperformed the market in past one quarter, declining 1.14 percent as against the Sensex’s 4.76 percent fall.

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