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RIL 43rd AGM: Jio biz update, bonus, Aramco deal details. What's in store?

RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries (RIL), is all set to hold its 43rd annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, July 15 via videoconferencing or other audio-visual means, given the ongoing crisis posed by Covid-19 pandemic.

While RIL's AGM has always been a much sought-after event for the corporate world, business media, investors, and other stakeholders, this time the AGM holds a greater significance given the company's record-breaking deal spree for its digital business vertical, Jio Platforms. So far, RIL has raised a record Rs 1.18 trillion in less than three months by selling 25.24 per cent stake in Jio Platforms to 13 marquee investors, including Facebook, Silver Lake, General Atlantic, Intel Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures. 

Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL)-owned companies engaged in media, broadcasting & cable TV business rallied up to 20 per cent in the intra-day trade on Wednesday, ahead of RIL’s AGM due later in the day. READ ABOUT IT HERE

Things to watch out for

One announcement that all the analysts are looking forward to is the company's clarification on the Saudi Aramco deal. In its last AGM, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced that Saudi Aramco and RIL had signed a letter of intent for a proposed investment in its oil-to-chemical (O2C) division. The deal, he said, was likely to fetch $15 billion (nearly 1.06 trillion) for a 20 per cent stake. The deal, analysts say, if materialises, would be a game-changer for the company's O2C segment. “However, there have been a few hiccups in the past as regards this deal. So, investors would expect some clarity about the timelines for consummating the deal,” said Ajay Bodke, CEO-PMS at Prabhudas Lilladher.

That apart, plans for Jio Platforms listing, Jio Fiber trajectory, and the launch of 5G are some of the other monitorables to watch out for. “I am looking forward to the company's plans for Jio Platforms listing...the timeline as well as whether it will be listed in India or on one of the international exchanges,” said Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Group Chairman at Inditrade Capital.

Besides, the unfolding of Jio Fiber's story is another announcement to watch out for. In its 42nd AGM, RIL had announced the roll-out of 'Jio Fiber' from September 5, promising free voice calls for life from landlines, 100 mbps minimum broadband speed at subscription starting from Rs 700 a month and free HD TV set on a commitment to an annual plan. 

Investment by Qualcomm Ventures, analysts say, is a key development in the company's plan to roll-out 5G services. Qualcomm Ventures is a global fund of Qualcomm that invests in pioneering companies across the wireless ecosystem in areas like 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), automotive, networking, and enterprise. “The deal with Qualcomm Ventures is definitely of great strategic value for RIL as it can bring in superior technology. Some announcements in these areas are also expected,” Bandyopadhyay said.

That apart, the market would also be looking at signs of any other emerging business areas that the management is looking at, Bodke says.

Ambareesh Baliga, an independent market expert, on the other hand, believes that the AGM will be more of the company patting its back on being able to raise so much funds than to make any major announcements at this point in time. “The only thing that people would look forward to is what's happening to the Aramco deal. Apart from that, the amount of communication done by the company is unprecedented,” Baliga says.

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