Reliance to invest 150K crores in various businesses, but tight-lipped on 4G

Mumbai, June 7 (ANI): Reliance Industries has announced plans to spend over Rs.150,000 crores (26 billion dollars) across its businesses over the next three years, even as its chairman, Mukesh Ambani, gave few details about the group's long-anticipated launch of 4G telecommunications services.

Reliance, India's fourth-largest company by market value, has been under pressure from investors worried by its slowing natural gas business and its drive into consumer sectors such as telecoms and retail.

For years, Reliance has looked to diversify beyond its core energy business, but profits have been elusive.

Addressing stakeholders at the 39th annual general meeting of Reliance Industries in Mumbai on Thursday, Ambani said that the company would invest the largest capital in India in the coming three years.

"We are currently making investments in excess of 150,000 crores (1.5 trillion rupees) over the next three years. Your company is investing the largest capital in India by any enterprise, public or private, Indian or foreign," he said.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, its telecoms unit, is the only Indian company to have nationwide permits for 4G services. Nearly three years after acquiring the airwaves, it is yet to start commercial services.

Ambani told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting that he had a bullish view of the potential for digital services in India, and the unit would more than triple its headcount to 10,000 over next year, but did not say when services will be launched.

Reliance Jio has finalised key vendors and suppliers required for the initial launch of the services, Ambani said.

Ambani added that growth in agriculture through retail and petrochemical applications would be Reliance's agenda.

"Reliance will stimulate growth in agriculture through retail and petrochemical applications. Industrial growth through energy, manufacturing, services through retail and broadband digital service," said Ambani.

Shares in Reliance were down 1.1 percent at 793.00 rupees at 1:19 p.m. The stock was about 0.5 percent lower before Ambani began his speech.

Reliance is making investments exceeding 1.5 trillion rupees across its five business areas-energy exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail, and 4G.

Referring to the gas discovery that Reliance, along with partners BP Plc and Niko Resources Limited, announced last month in the KG-D6 block off India's east coast, Ambani said more prospects have been lined up for exploration drilling over the next few quarters.

He added various 'production augmentation efforts' were underway to maximise recovery from existing fields in KG D6 block, where output has disappointed expectations.(ANI)

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