Addressing shareholders at the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Monday announced a massive foreign investment, in which Saudi Aramco will acquire 20 per cent stake in RIL’s oil-to-chemical business.
Ambani reiterated that Saudi Aramco or the Saudi Arabian Oil Company would buy the stake for an enterprise value of $75 billion.
He described the deal as the largest foreign direct investment in India.
Under the deal, Saudi Aramco will also supply 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil on a long-term basis to RIL’s Jamnagar Refinery.
Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue and is said to be among the most profitable companies in the world.
This comes as a major announcement days after RIL had said it has entered into a joint venture with the British petroleum major BP for the former’s petroleum retail business, with BP having 49 per cent stake in the venture.
The RIL Chairman on Monday said that the deal with BP would fetch 70 billion rupees ($982.5 million) to RIL.
Further on, he also announced the commercial launch of Jio GigaFiber on September 5 this year.
The base plan starts at speed of 100MBPS and goes up to 1GBPS, with prices ranging from 700 to 10,000 rupees per month.
The businessman said Jio GigaFiber aims to empower 2.4 million small and medium businesses.
The RIL Chairman noted that the subscribers of Jio GigaFiber would get broadband speeds of up to 1GBPS, along with a landline phone connection, at no additional cost. It also provides a digital set-top-box to the consumers.
“We have designed our Jio set-top-box to accept the broadcast cable TV signals from our LCO partners. So that with every JIOFIBER home all our LCO partners will continue to have a steady stream of revenue for their broadcast TV business.
“We look forward to extending this partnership to all LCOs across the country,” he said.
He further announced that the Jio GigaFiber customers who opt for our annual plans – “Jio-Forever plans”, will get an HD (High Definition) or 4K LED television and a 4K set-top-box for free.
Voice calls from home will be absolutely free. Lowest fixed-line international calls default tariff will be 1/5th or 1/10th of industry tariffs. Jio has launched 500 rupees per month unlimited calling plan for US, Canada.
In another major announcement, Mukesh Ambani said Jio and Microsoft have entered into a globally unique long-term alliance to accelerate the digital transformation of the country. Under this, Jio will set up data centres across India and Microsoft will bring the Azure cloud platform.
The RIL chairman also announced “Jio First Day First Show” plan under which Premium JioFibre customers will be able to watch movies in their living rooms on the day of the release. This will be rolled out next year.
Addressing the retail sector of India, the RIL CMD says, “Today, Reliance Retail is the only Indian retailer to be ranked in the Global 100 top retailers. Over the next five years, our aim is to be amongst the world’s top 20 retailers.”
Mukesh Ambani further said the company’s retail arm will soon unveil Reliance New Commerce, an initiative to digitally connect neighbourhood shops across the country.
According to the RIL Chairman, the initiative is aimed at digitally empowering neighbourhood shops, including those in smaller towns.
Addressing the shareholders, Ambani said: “Jio has done well in these last years … Jio crossed the 340 million subscriber mark … Jio has truly become the largest retailer of India.
“The future of India and the future of Reliance never looked brighter to me than now.”
He further said that before Jio, “India was data dark” but now “India is data shining bright”.
Commenting on the Indian economy, the RIL Chairman said that “no power on earth can stop India from rising higher”.
He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
“I fully agree with the idea. This is necessary,” he said.
Reliance Industries limited chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani also announced that his company has plans for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the two recently-formed union territories.