Reliance’s 43rd AGM tomorrow. Here’s what to watch out for – business news

Millions of shareholders of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) are expected to log in to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday.

RIL’s 43rd annual general meeting will be held virtually amid the ongoing crisis coronavirus pandemic and will be watched by shareholders from 500 locations in India and abroad.

The AGM is being also held after the company’s record-breaking deal spree for Jio Platforms, the company’s digital arm.


Other than bringing in many firsts, investors are waiting for announcements about the details of JioMeet, the company’s recently-launched videoconferencing app.

They are also looking forward to the announcements about RIL’s plans for Jio Platforms listing, Jio Fiber trajectory and the launch of 5G. Further plans for JioMart, the e-commerce venture of RIL’s subsidiary Reliance Retail, according to reports is on the watchlist of investors and industry watchers.

Mukesh Ambani is also expected talk about the $15-billion deal with Saudi Aramco and how RIL became a net debt-free company after it raised Rs 117,588.45 crore from global investors, including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and General Atlantic.

Last year’s AGM

Mukesh Ambani had last year announced investments of about Rs 3.5 lakh crore to create a digital infrastructure across India, with the largest optical fibre footprint in the country.

Other announcements included divestments of about Rs 1.25 lakh crore of infrastructure into investment trusts and commercial launch of JioFiber.

The company had promised 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.

A year before that, Ambani announced the ‘Monsoon Hungama’ offer, where users could exchange their existing feature phones for a new JioPhone for Rs 501.

Registrations for JioGigaFiber, which is now known JioFiber, were also announced in 2018.

RJio introduced its smartphone, JioPhone, at the 2017 AGM, free to subscribers.

In the 2016 AGM, Ambani launched the Jio Digital Life story by endorsing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign.

Debts pared

This year’s AGM of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate will be held after it achieved net-debt free status in June on the back of a record fundraising from stake sales and rights issue.

Reliance secured over Rs 1.18 lakh crore from global tech investors, including Facebook, by selling 25.24% of its digital business and raised Rs 53,124 crore by selling shares to existing investors.

RIL said in June that taken together with last year’s sale of 49% stake in fuel retailing venture to BP Plc of UK for Rs 7,000 crore, it has raised more than Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

“With these investments, RIL has become net-debt free,” it had said.

Reliance had a net debt of Rs 1,61,035 crore as on March 31, 2020.

(With agency inputs)

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