An employee attends to a customer at a Reliance Industries petrol pump in Navi Mumbai on Thursday. Agence France-Presse
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Group on Thursday announced the induction of Aramco chairman Yasir Al Rumayyan as an independent director on Reliance’s board, signalling the strength of the ties between the two companies.
“His joining our Board is also the beginning of internationalisation of Reliance. You will hear more about our international plans in the times to come,” he said.
Ambani said he hoped to formalise partnerships with Saudi Aramco this year for a 20% stake sale in its oil-to-chemical business.
Separately, Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in western India, will invest $10.1 billion in clean energy over three years in a drive to become a net carbon zero company by 2035.
Reliance’s plan mirrors strategies of global oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc that have set a goal to become net zero carbon by 2050 amid pressure from investors and climate activists.
“The world is entering a new energy era, which is going to be highly disruptive. The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer,” Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, said at a shareholder meeting on Thursday.
Policymakers and regulators globally want financial institutions to do more to help accelerate the push to low-carbon economies and meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A group of 30 asset managers with more than $9 trillion under management last year launched the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative to help clients ensure their portfolios are carbon neutral by 2050.
“With this capex plan spread over three years Reliance will reap benefit from its green energy push over the next many more years. Currently investor appetite is good for businesses that are much more carbon conscious,” said Mayuresh Joshi, head of equity research at research firm William O’Neil.
“Reliance will definitely have first mover advantage and have scale both locally and globally,” Joshi said.
The oil-to-telecoms conglomerate will invest 600 billion rupees to build four ‘giga factories’ at Jamnagar to produce solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen, Ambani said.
It will also invest 150 billion rupees in value chain and other partnerships relating to its new renewable energy business, he said, adding a transformation of legacy business into sustainable and net zero carbon business would provide growing returns over several decades.
Reliance will also build solar capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, accounting for over a fifth of India’s target of installing 450 GW by the end of this decade.
“A significant part of this will come from rooftop solar and decentralised solar installations in villages,” Ambani said, adding his group would also tap green funds and banks to meet its goal.
“We will achieve our goals by enabling a platform to source long-term global capital for these investments at the most attractive terms,” he said.
Reliance’s entry into the renewable energy business in India will put it in competition with companies such as Adani Green Energy Ltd and Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power.
India currently imports over four-fifths of its solar cell and module requirements from China. Reliance will construct an integrated solar photovoltaic factory to produce ingots and wafers, which would be used to make low-cost solar cells and modules, Ambani said.
The company plans to use green hydrogen and carbon dioxide as raw materials to produce green chemicals, green fertilizers and e-fuels, he said.
Indian shares: Indian shares closed higher on Thursday, as gains in heavyweight information technology stocks outweighed losses in Reliance Industries, which ended down as its annual general meeting was underway.
The blue chip NSE Nifty 50 index closed up 0.66% at 15,790.45 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.75% to end at 52,699.
Both indexes scaled all-time highs this month, driven by declining COVID-19 cases, easing of pandemic-led curbs in several states, and a recent record surge in daily vaccinations. However, expiry of monthly contracts for June led to a pullback in the last two sessions.
On Thursday, technology stocks were back in focus, with the Nifty IT index closing 2.79% higher after three sessions of losses in the past four. Software services firms Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services were the top boosts to the Nifty 50, adding more than 3.4% each. Conglomerate Reliance closed 2.4% lower, and was the top drag to the Nifty 50.
In other stocks, Speciality Restaurants, the owner of well-known domestic brands such as Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta, added 4.8% after reporting a March-quarter profit versus a loss a year ago.
Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, which runs 70 hospitals across the country, lost 1.3% after reporting a fall in its March-quarter profit. The company also reorganised its offline pharmacy business and digital healthcare platform into a new unit.
Indian economy is likely to swell to $5 trillion mark ahead of its target of 2024 despite huge challenges and global trends. This was stated by T.N. Manoharan, non-executive chairman of India’s Canara Bank recently in Dubai,
Adding to the persisting concerns of a weakening economy, an IHS Markit report said that business sentiment in the country in June fell to the lowest level since 2016 as companies are worried over a subdued economy, government policies, regulation and water shortages.
India’s government forecast on Thursday that economic growth could get back up to 7% per cent this year, but cautioned it will face challenges keeping its fiscal deficit in check.
Starting August 1, Super 98 petrol will cost Dhs2.58 a litre, compared to Dhs2.47 the previous month.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday took to twitter to praise an Arab youth who founded a $1.5 billion company. “Dubai-headquartered
Recognising that women are a vital driving force of the economy, the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has launched a special package for women entrepreneurs and innovators to register their company at the region’s