Reliance becomes the first Indian firm to touch Rs 20 Lakh CroresBusiness News

February 13, 2024 20:55
Reliance becomes the first Indian firm to touch Rs 20 Lakh Crores

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Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) climbed nearly 2 per cent in Tuesday's trade and, in the process, the oil-to-telecom major became the first ever listed firm to cross the Rs 20 lakh crore market capitalisation milestone. The Mukesh Ambani-led firm hit the 20 lakh crore mark, commanding a value of Rs 19,93,881.61 crore as the session progressed. RIL shares gained 1.88 per cent to hit a high of Rs 2,957.80 on BSE. Reliance Industries recently demerged its financial services arm, which was renamed as Jio Financial Services Ltd (JFS). The demerged entity is listed on stock exchanges and commanded a m-cap of Rs 1,70,331.55 crore at last count.

The recent sure in RIL m-cap, the Reliance group's flagship, lifted Mukesh Ambani's fortunes to $109 billion, up $12.5 billion in 2024 alone. He is now the richest Indian and 11th richest in the world, as per the Bloomberg Billionaire index. Over the last decade, RIL has successfully incubated businesses of the future, such as digital services and retail, and has transformed itself from being a legacy oil & gas business. In telecoms, RIL is the industry leader, and has made significantly larger investments in 5G than peers, BNP Paribas said in a February 8 note.

"We think RIL is well positioned to benefit from rising data demand in India and a likely increase in tariffs. Its retail business continues to see rapid store-space expansion. The upstream O&G business had a significant turnaround, with the start of new production from KG-D6 gas fields and improvements in realisation. We think RIL's new green-energy businesses (solar, batteries, fuel cells and hydrogen) look promising, though we await more visibility," it said. BNP Paribas, which has a target of Rs 3,080 on RIL, values the telecom business at 11 times FY26 EV/Ebitda, which is at a slight premium to that of Airtel, due to: Jio's larger upfront investments in infrastructure, including spectrum and network; and potential opportunities from Jio's larger digital play.

"We value Reliance Retail at 35 times FY26E EV/Ebitda. While Reliance Retail does not have direct comparable peers, this is at a 20% discount to the valuation of leading retail companies such as Avenue Supermarts and Trent Ltd based on FY25E Bloomberg consensus estimates, due to lower level of disclosures and differences in the business mix," it said. The brokerage values the oil-to-chemicals (O2C) division at 7.5 times FY26E EV/Ebitda, which is at a premium to that of OMCs that are trading at 5-6 times, due to its higher refining margins and RIL's private ownership versus government' majority holding in OMCs.

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