Reliance Industries Seeks Shareholders’ Nod To Raise Rs25,000 Crore Via Debt

Reliance Industries Seeks Shareholders’ Nod To Raise Rs25,000 Crore Via Debt

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has sought shareholders’ approval to raise as much as Rs25,000 crore through debt to meet capital expenditure, the firm said in a stock exchange notice.

RIL has listed this in its notice calling for an annual general meeting of the company to be held on 21 July.

The firm has proposed to raise this debt through private placement of non-convertible debt instruments.

RIL’s consolidated debt rose to Rs1.96 trillion at the end of March, compared with Rs1.8 trillion a year ago.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the past fiscal year were at Rs77,226 crore, down from Rs89,969 crore in the year-ago period.

Capital expenditure for the past fiscal year stood at Rs1.15 trillion.

Continued investments in its telecom unit, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd—where RIL has invested Rs1.79 trillion so far and has forecast to increase to Rs2.5 trillion by fiscal 2020—has meant a depletion in cash balances and increase in debt.

“Debt (is) higher on account of investments in Jio and refining,” V. Srikanth, joint chief financial officer of RIL, said on 24 April at the time of announcing the company’s fourth quarter results.

“This fund-raise could either be for a deleveraging exercise or for further investments in Jio. With most of its investments done in refining and petrochemicals, RIL does not need such a huge fund-raise for its capital expenditure this fiscal,” said an analyst with a Mumbai-based brokerage on the condition of anonymity.

In January this year, the firm said Reliance Jio was planning to raise Rs30,000 crore from a rights offer, and will use the proceeds to enhance its network capacity.

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In July 2016, Reliance Jio had issued Rs2,000-crore five-year non-convertible debentures for expanding the telecom business.

RIL has also sought approval for a proposal to alter the articles of association of the company to impose a ceiling of 5% on purchase of equity by non-promoters in its payments bank unit, Jio Payments Bank Ltd, till the time it remains as a promoter.

This is to ensure that the articles are in sync with Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, requirements.

In March 2017, Mint had reported that Jio Payments Bank, a joint venture between RIL and State Bank of India (SBI), has received the Reserve Bank of India’s final go-ahead to start operations.

RIL owns a 70% stake in the venture, while SBI owns the rest.

RIL reported a consolidated net profit of Rs29,901 crore in the last fiscal, up 18.8% from a year ago and Rs3.30 trillion in revenue.

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