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RIL steady on institutional support
February 17, 2003 16:41 IST
Reliance Industries ruled firm on Monday, following sustained buying by institutions.
By 15:25 IST, the scrip of the petrochemicals and oil refining giant was up by 2.59% to Rs 291.50 on the BSE. A volume of over 1.13 million shares was recorded on the counter. In nine sessions between 31 January and 14 February 2003, the Reliance Industries rose by 7.95% to Rs 284.15 from Rs 263.20.
Dealers said the rise in the RIL scrip was due to sustained buying by foreign institutional investors and insurance companies. They said that institutions were supporting the BSE Sensex by acquiring the RIL stock, as the latter has considerable weightage in the index.
Earlier, the diversified company signed agreements with the Centre in respect of the oil and gas blocks awarded to it under the third round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy. RIL, in consortium with UK-based Hardy Oil, signed agreements for nine blocks including seven deepwater blocks.
In October 2002, RIL had said that its Krishna-Godavari basin (Andhra Pradesh) gas project would go on stream around mid-2004. The cost of development of the project may total $1.3 billion, it added.
Earlier, it had indicated gas reserves in the range of 7 trillion cubic feet, or 45 million standard cubic metres per day, in the KG basin. However, latest reports indicated that RIL's deepwater block may contain up to 15 tcf reserves of natural gas.
Meanwhile, on 28 December 2002, RIL launched mobile telephony services nationwide through Reliance Infocom, the day being the birthday of its founder late Dhirubhai Ambani. Reliance Infocomm, an arm of RIL, is expected to roll out basic telephony services in 17 states soon. It has already laid 40,000 km of optic fibre across the country to cover various facets of telecom services including basic, Internet and long distance telephony. Reliance Infocomm is expected to provide cheaper services. It is banking on a lower margin-high volume game. RIL has reportedly invested a huge sum in Reliance Infocomm - of over Rs 25,000 crore (Rs 250 billion).
Last week, there were repots that Reliance Infocomm has registered over 1 million customers for its wireless-in-local-loop mobile service.
Earlier, US-based Reliance group subsidiary Reliance Communications acquired licences from the US and the UK governments for setting up telecom networks in those countries. The company will operate as a facility-based carrier in the US for providing telecom services between the US and other countries including India.
RIL is basically a petrochemicals maker (the largest in the country) and a petroleum refiner (after it merged group company RPL with itself). The company has emerged as among the largest private sector players in the oil exploration segment as well.
Last month, RIL registered impressive results for the third quarter ended 31 December 2002. It posted a 24% rise in net profit to Rs 1,083 crore (Rs 10.83 billion), compared to Rs 873 crore (Rs 8.73 billion) in the corresponding period of the previous year. Total income increased by 7.58% to Rs 11,243 crore (Rs 112.43 billion) from Rs 10,450 crore (Rs 104.5 billion) in DQ 2001. The figures for the corresponding previous period have been restated to include the effect of the amalgamation of Reliance Petroleum with RIL with effect from 1 April 2001.
The 24% rise in RIL's net profit has beaten a capitalmarket.com poll (of three analysts) which estimated net profit in the range of Rs 766-828 crore (Rs 7.66-8.28 billion) . Sales were forecast at Rs 11,045-12,500 crore (Rs 110.45-125 billion).
Meanwhile, the promoters held 43.7% equity stake in RIL, while the public, domestic and foreign institutions held 15.3%, 13% and 26.4% respectively.
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