RIL up 2% on Saudi Aramco stake buy buzz; investors eye Q4 result due today

Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) climbed as much as 2.24 per cent in the early trade on Thursday after reports surfaced Saudi Aramco is in talks to acquire stake in the oil-to-telecom behemoth. 

Saudi Aramco, the world’s most profitable company in history, is learned to be in "serious discussion" to acquire up to 25 per cent stake in the refining and petrochemicals business of RIL, The Times of India reported on Wednesday.

Analysts see it as a good move for both companies. “For the deal to happen, the refining and petchem assets will need to be moved to a separate subsidiary, which means with the holding company discount, debt and interest costs will also go down. In addition, there is greater fuel security,” Business Standard reported quoting an analyst, with a domestic brokerage, as saying, who did not wish to be named. CLICK TO READ FULL STORY

In another development, C.Banner International, the Chinese owner of toy store chain Hamleys, is said to be in the final stage of talks with the company's unit Reliance Retail to sell the centuries-old British company.

If the talks succeed, Reliance Retail will be the fourth owner of the iconic chain in the past 15 years. Reliance already has a master franchise agreement with Hamleys for the Indian market, and has 80 stores in 32 cities across the country. READ MORE

The Mukesh Ambani-led company is also slated to release its March quarter earnings of the financial year 2018-19 (Q4FY19) later in the day. It is expected to report weak refining earnings though its retail and petrochemical businesses are expected to partially offset the weakness. 

In a Bloomberg poll, 14 analysts estimated RIL’s consolidated net profit of Rs 9,796 crore and 12 analysts estimated revenue at Rs 1.48 trillion. For the March 2018 ended quarter, RIL had reported a net profit of Rs 9,435 crore and total revenue of Rs 1.17 trillion at the consolidated level. CLICK TO READ EARNINGS PREVIEW

“Overall we expect fourth quarter to be relatively weak given lower refining and petchem segments, offset partially by continued growth in the retail and Jio segments,” analysts with JP Morgan noted in an April 10 report. Petrochemicals and refining together contribute more than 70 per cent to the conglomerate’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and ammortisation or Ebitda in the December quarter. 

At 09:36 am, the stock was trading nearly 2.50 per cent higher at Rs 1,379 apiece on the BSE against 0.35 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

During the last one year, RIL stock has zoomed 43 per cent whereas the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex has gained 14 per cent. 

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