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Economy

PwC India challenges audit ban, putting 75 companies in a bind

Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries seen among affected customers

Price Waterhouse's offices in Mumbai, India.   © Reuters

MUMBAI -- Troubled audit firm Price Waterhouse's plans to seek a stay order against the Indian regulator's ban on its local audit affiliates over the Satyam fraud case are likely to create uncertainty for the 75 listed companies it audits, including Tata Steel and Hindalco Industries.

Price Waterhouse, the Indian affiliate of global consulting and audit group PwC, is confident of getting a stay order against the ban, imposed this week by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for failing to uncover a 71.36 billion-rupee ($1.18 billion) accounting scam at Satyam Computer Services from 2003-2008. The firm said it was "disappointed" by Sebi's move and said it "played no part and had no knowledge of" the fraud. "We have, however, learned the lessons of Satyam and invested heavily over the last nine years in building a robust and high-quality audit practice," it said.

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