RIL overtakes ExxonMobil to become world's 2nd most valuable energy company, market cap crosses USD 189 billion

Agencies
July 24, 2020

Mumbai, Jul 24: Reliance India Limited (RIL) on Friday overtook ExxonMobil to become the world's second most valuable energy company and 46th among the world's largest companies by market capitalisation.

RIL's market capitalisation stood at Rs 14.16 lakh crore (USD 189.3 billion) at market close on Friday. ExxonMobil's current market value is USD 184.77 billion.

"Reliance Industries, with a market capitalisation of USD 189.3 billion now is the second-most valuable energy company in the world. Reliance Industries now stands at 46th among the world's largest companies by market capitalisation ahead of well-known names like ExxonMobil, Abbott Laboratories, Oracle Corp, Chevron and Unilever Plc, and just below PepsiCo," RIL said in an official release.

RIL continued its rally on Friday, notwithstanding overall weak market conditions.

RIL shares made a new all-time high of Rs 2,163 and were last traded at Rs 2,148.8 on NSE with a gain of 4.4 per cent. The market capitalisation of fully paid-up shares stands at Rs 13.62 lakh crore (USD 182.06 billion), the release said.

Reliance partly paid-up shares gained 9.33 per cent on NSE today to last trade at Rs 1289.95. The partly paid-up shares now have a market capitalisation of Rs 0.55 lakh crore (USD 7.29 billion).

"Reliance's share price had touched a bottom of Rs 867 on March 23, 2020, when the total market value of the company stood at Rs 5.5 lakh crore or $73.5 billion. Thus, RIL has added $115.9 billion to shareholder wealth within just four months - one of the highest value creation feats in the world in such a short time," the release said.

Reliance had earlier raised Rs 212,809 crore through Rights Issue, combined investments in Jio Platforms and investment by bp.

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Agencies
September 19,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 19: Air India is not finding any takers and the privatisation may be put off by three years, delivering a blow to the efforts to divest the national carrier.

It seems that due to the turbulence caused in the aviation sector by the Covid 19 pandemic, airlines are already struggling and in that scenario, there are no buyers for Air India. Tatas were supposedly frontrunners for the divestiture, but for some reason have backed out of the race for the moment after completing the due diligence process. The question is therefore whether the books revealed a bigger financial mess than what was anticipated.

The government has already postponed the last date for inviting bids after having said that the date would not be advanced. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri has remarked that the options on the table are either to sell the airlines or close it down. October 30th was the latest deadline for finalizing the sale of Air India, but Govt will be forced to extend that as well. The deadlines of Air India sale have been extended quite a few times in the last couple of years.

If the privatisation is put off by three years then the government will have to find a plan to keep the national carrier running for that period.

Reports suggest that the huge debt of Air India is a major reason for buyers not being extended. The government is examining how the debt exposure of the potential buyer can be reduced.

Out of Rs 60,074 crore debt of Air India, the government had already announced a reduced debt exposure of Rs 23,286 crore for the buyer. This means, that instead of Rs 60,074 crore debt, the new buyer will be needed to repay only Rs 23,286 crore of debt. The rest of the debt will be transferred to a special purpose vehicle called Air India Assets Holding Ltd.

Discussions are on to evolve a formula where the buyers can put in a bid based on the enterprise value and bids will be evaluated based on that.

However, due to the stress in the aviation sector, buyers may not interested even with reduced debt given that their core operations are pressure.

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News Network
September 18,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 18: India’s economic recovery prospects have gone from bad to worse after the nation emerged as a new global hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic with more than 5 million infections.

Economists and global institutions like the Asian Development Bank have recently cut India’s growth projections from already historic lows as the virus continues to spread. Goldman Sachs Group Inc now estimates a 14.8% contraction in gross domestic product for the year through March 2021, while the ADB is forecasting -9%. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development sees the economy shrinking by 10.2%.

The failure to get infections under control will set back business activity and consumption -- the bedrock of the economy -- which had been slowly picking up after India began easing one of the world’s strictest and biggest lockdowns that started late March. Local virus cases topped the 5 million mark this week, with the death toll surpassed only by the US and Brazil.

“While a second wave of infections is being witnessed globally, India still has not been able to flatten the first wave of infection curve,” said Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist at India Ratings and Research Ltd, a unit of Fitch Ratings Ltd. He now sees India’s economy contracting 11.8% in the fiscal year, far worse than his earlier projection of -5.8%.

Goldman Sachs’s latest growth forecast came last week after data showed gross domestic product plunged 23.9% in the April-June quarter from a year ago, the biggest decline since records began in 1996 and the worst performance of major economies tracked by Bloomberg.

While there are some signs that activity picked up following the strict lockdown, a strong recovery looks uncertain.

“By all indications, the recovery is likely to be gradual as efforts toward reopening of the economy are confronted with rising infections,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das told a group of industrialists Wednesday.

Lower Potential

The central bank will likely release its own growth forecast on October 1 when the monetary policy committee announces its interest rate decision. In August, the RBI said private spending on discretionary items had taken a knock, especially on transport services, hospitality, recreation and cultural activities.

The plunge in GDP, as well as ongoing stress in the banking sector and among households, will curb India’s medium-term growth potential. Tanvee Gupta Jain, an economist at UBS Group AG in Mumbai, estimates potential growth will slow to 6% from 7.1% year-on-year estimated in 2017.

What Bloomberg’s Economists Say

India went into the Covid-19 pandemic already suffering a downward trend in growth potential. We expect a 10.6% contraction in fiscal 2021, rebound in 2022, and slower path for growth as scars from the virus recession drag on the remaining years of the decade.

Abhishek Gupta, India economist, said in addition to that, corporate profits have collapsed, putting a brake on investments, which in turn, will curb employment and growth in the economy.

India is “likely to see a shallow and delayed recovery in corporate sector profitability over the next several quarters,” said Kaushik Das, chief economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Mumbai, who has downgraded his fiscal year growth forecast to -8% from -6.2%. That will “reduce the incentive and ability for fresh investments, which in turn will be a drag on credit growth and overall real GDP growth,” he said.

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Agencies
September 17,2020

New Delhi, Sept 17: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed the Supreme Court that if it is keen to begin an exercise to regulate media, then it should be the digital media instead of mainstream media, as it has wider viewership and also has the potential to turn viral.

The Ministry in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said while in a mainstream media (whether electronic or print), the publication or telecast is a one-time act, the digital media has faster reach to a wider range of readership and has the potential to become viral because of several electronic applications like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook.

"Considering the serious impact and the potential, it is desirable that if this Court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media as there already exist sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic media and print media," said the affidavit filed in connection with the Sudarshan TV case.

"The media includes mainstream electronic media, mainstream print media as well as a parallel media namely digital print media and digital web-based news portal and YouTube channels as well as 'Over The Top' platforms (OTTs)," said the Ministry in an affidavit.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, K.M. Joseph and Indu Malhotra has stayed the broadcast of Sudarshan TV programme UPSC Jihad, until further orders.

The apex court has also indicated the setting up of a five-member committee, including people of commendable stature without having any politically divisive orientation, to provide standards for electronic media.

On this aspect, the Ministry in the affidavit said the present petition is concerned with balancing between the journalist's freedom and responsible journalism, which is a field already occupied either by the statutory provisions made by Parliament or by the judgments of the Supreme Court.

"...In view of the issue having already received attention of the Parliament, as well as, of this Court, the present petition be confined to only one channel namely Sudarshan T.V. and this Court may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with or without appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus," said the affidavit.

The top court will continue hearing the matter on Thursday.

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