Reliance Industries scrip up 11.6 percent since shareholder meet

Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) The 41st annual general meeting of Reliance Industries has proved to be a major driver for Reliance Industries shares, not only propelling it by 11.60 percent since last Friday but also lifting it to a six-year high.

The company’s shares may still have a lot of ground to cover for it to top its 52-week high of Rs.1,101.95, but from Rs.879.30 on June 12 to Rs.981.45 at close on Thursday has been a jump of Rs.102.15, or 11.62 percent, data with the Bombay Stock Exchanges showed.

Analysts say the scrip still has some momentum left.

Market research firm CLSA listed the reasons for the bullish sentiments propelling the scrip. It cited the company’s plans to launch 4G services by December 2015 with a guided total investment of Rs.1 trillion (Rs.840 billion up to this March).

According to analysts at Edelweiss Securities, apart from launching its 4G services, the fact that it will cover 80 percent of India’s population by year-end and 100 percent within three years is a major confidence booster.

The UBS Securities India said that company’s euphoria before the 4G launch can also be gauged by the fact that infrastructure such as 250,000 km of fibre optics, 0.5 msf of ‘Cloud Data’ centres operational.

“All of which (infrastructure) could service in excess of 100 million wireless boradband and 20 million fibre-to-home customers,” UBS said.

DSP Merrill Lynch pointed out that the monthly data tariff of Rs.300-500 with a sub-Rs.4,000 handset can be winning combination for the 4G business.

Macquarie Capital Securities elaborated that the key licences are also in place — like the one for providing wireless and wired services. It has also received the facility-based operator licence, which allows it to lease out fibre-connectivity.

“Jio has also applied for a cable multi-system operator (MSO) licence, to provide cable TV and related services over its infrastructure,” Macquarie Capital said.

Meanwhile, analysts across the board were unanimous in declaring that mobile applications (apps) that will accompany 4G services, will be one of prime sources of revenue stream.

The company has lined up apps like Jio Drive, which is a virtual drive to content store, Jio Beats and Play for video and music streaming, Jio Mags for online magazines, and Jio News for news aggregation.

It has also tied up with State Bank of India (SBI) to launch Jio Money, the digital wallet service, and last month launched its JioChat app.

Apart from telecom, the company’s retail business will also be a key economic driver, said Citi Research. Reliance Industries plans to scale up its presence from 200 cities to over 900 by next year.

The company also plans to enter e-commerce space to advance its retail sales cited Barclays Research.

“Plans to enter e-commerce helped by advanced internet infrastructure built by Reliance Jio and physical retail business built by Reliance Retail by end of the year,” said Barclays, adding that the pilot initiative in grocery segment has been a success.

Market research firm Bernstein said that the company aims to capitalise on the country’s large demographic dividend along with rising income levels.

“RIL continues to add new retail stores while is expected to roll out several e-commerce initiatives across different formats including fashion and lifestyle,” said Bernstein.

However, not all of the announcements made at the AGM rang music to investors’ ears, some like the delay in in the refinery off-gas cracker (ROGC) project in Jamnagar was a cause of worry, said Kotak Securities.

The ROGC project will now be commissioned by the third quarter of FY17, later than earlier guidance of end-FY2016.

In the fuel marketing business, nearly 400 retail outlets are now operational.

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