On Thursday, Reliance Industries became the first Indian company to cross $200 billion in market cap as its shares jumped 6.2 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
RIL stock has grown by 47 percent since March, following a series of foreign investments in its internet and retail subsidiaries. The latest spike in stock value could be attributed to speculations around Amazon investing $20 billion in Reliance Retail.
RIL is now valued at $201 billion (over Rs 14.48 lakh crore), and is India’s most valuable publicly listed corporation. The petroleum-to-telecom-to-retail conglomerate is nearly 2X the size of its nearest peer TCS ($119 billion valuation).
Riding on RIL’s stock gains, Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s riches have also expanded. Not only is he Asia’s richest business person, but is the seventh richest in the world, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth is estimated to be $83 billion, having added over $24 billion to his fortune since the start of the year.
RIL is only second to Saudi Aramco in terms of valuations for in global oil-and-gas companies. Interestingly, both entities were on the verge of closing a $15 billion deal. However, there have been delays in the transaction due to the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
At Reliance’s 43rd AGM held in July, Chairman Ambani had said,
“The deal with Saudi Aramco hasn’t progressed per original timeline due to unforeseen situation in the energy market and the COVID-19 situation… We value our two-decade relationship with Aramco, and are committed to a long-term partnership.“
While its petrochemicals division has shown signs of a slump this year, Reliance has invested all its attention on expanding its internet and retail businesses.
Between April and July this year, its internet arm Jio Platforms raised $20 billion in FDI across 14 deals involving venture capital and private equity players, strategic tech investors, and global sovereign wealth funds. The entity is now valued at $65 billion.
Earlier this week, Reliance Retail also sold a 1.75 percent stake to Silver Lake Partners to raise Rs 7,500 crore, as RIL looks to ramp up its online-to-offline (O2O) retail operations and expand JioMart’s across more locations in the country.
Prior to this, RIL also acquired Kishore Biyani’s fledgling retail empire for Rs 24,713 crore, making Reliance Retail the largest retail business in India by store count.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai
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