It has been three years since RIL returned to telecom with a big bang. Today, while outlining big plans for Reliance Jio, Mukesh Ambani yet again refrained from announcing a launch date for the 4G broadband service
It is no secret that Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Reliance Industries (RIL), has big ambitions in telecom sector. This was reflected in his speech at the annual general meeting (AGM) of RIL on Thursday. As expected, he informed shareholders about his big plans for his Reliance Jio (RJio), the 4G venture. However, this time also he did not mention any launch date for the fourth generation service.
“Our vision for India is that broadband and digital services will no longer be a luxury item—a scarce commodity—to be rationed amongst the privileged few. Together with our partners, we have charted an ambitious plan for the next 12 months, and we at Reliance Jio foresee making rapid progress over this period towards launching our services across India," Ambani, the richest man in India said.
However, instead of announcing the impending launch date for RJio, he merely said, “Our impatience to reach our goal demands a sense of urgency, but not careless haste.”
Reliance Jio Infocomm is the only company to have nationwide permits for 4G broadband services. According to the RIL CMD, as of today, RJio has increased its headcount to over 3,000 professionals from 700 a year ago and expects to ramp up the number to nearly 10,000 over next year.
Over past few months, RJio has signed agreements with Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications (RCom) for using its inter-city fibre optic network and with Bharti Airtel for use the telecom services provider’s submarine cable that connects India and Singapore.
As per the agreement, RJio would use RCom’s multiple fibre pairs spread over 1.2 lakh km across the country for providing backbone to roll out its 4G services. “RCom will in turn have reciprocal access to optic fibre infrastructure to be built by RJio in the future,” RCom had said in a release. RJio agreed to pay about Rs1,200 crore to RCom as one time indefeasible right to use (IRU) fees for sharing the fibre optic network.
Similarly, RJio would use the dedicated fibre pair on i2i, the submarine cable owned by Bharti Airtel. It will connect RJio directly to the world’s major business hubs and ISPs, thereby, helping the operator to meet the bandwidth demand and provide ultra-fast data experience to its customers.
Telecom has always been a sector close to the heart of the Mukesh Ambani, who is known for his quick execution of mega projects, launched his ‘dream’ mobile services in 2003-04 with a slogan “Kar Lo Duniya Muththi Mein” (take control of the world). However, he had to give up Reliance Infocomm (which later became RCom) to Anil Ambani in 2005 when the Reliance empire was split.
Later in 2010, Mukesh Ambani-led RIL re-entered the telecom arena with a bang, announcing the acquisition of Infotel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd, which had emerged as the sole winner of pan-India broadband spectrum, for Rs4,800 crore.
According to the RIL CMD his 4G telecom services would be pillared on “affordability and providing an unparalleled range of services that do not exist today.”
“In the coming years RJio’s next generation digital infra and services platform will catalyse a transformation and will embrace almost every facet of India’s economic growth and social progress,” he said at the AGM.
A positive close on the Nifty tomorrow may bring few more days of gains
The market settled in the negative on concerns of a weakening rupee and on selling in healthcare, oil & gas and power stocks. A positive close on the Nifty tomorrow may bring few more days of gains. The National Stock Exchange (NSEA) reported at turnover of 51.08 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 653:718.
The market opened on a weak note on disappointing global cues as uncertainty about the US Federal Reserve’s move on continuing its bond-buying initiative. The Asian pack was trading in the red in morning on unsupportive cues from the US. The Fed uncertainty dragged the US indices lower in overnight trade. A fall in the value of the rupee to over Rs57 per dollar in morning trade also weighed on the market.
The Nifty opened 29 points down at 5,895 and the Sensex started the day at 19,504, a decline of 64 points over its previous close. Selling pressure from heavyweights like Reliance Industries, ITC and HDFC saw the indices moving further down in early trade.
The benchmarks touched their lows in the first hour of trade with the Nifty slipping to 5,955 and the Sensex falling to 19,395.
The benchmarks witnessed a gradual upmove as trade progressed. The market hovered on both sides of its previous closing levels in noon trade. Buying in capital goods, banking and auto sectors helped the indices emerge into the green in post-noon trade. Meanwhile, the key European indices were trading with small gains ahead of policy announcements from the European Central Bank and Bank of England.
The market hit its high shortly after 2.30pm on support from banking and capital goods stocks. The Nifty rose to 5,957 and the Sensex climbed to 19,635 at their respective highs.
However, the benchmarks could not sustain the gains and soon edged lower to finish the session in the negative. The Nifty settled two points (0.04%) down at 5,921 and the Sensex closed at 19,519, a fall of 49 points (0.25%).
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index rose 0.11% and the BSE Small-cap index added 0.14%.
BSE Bankex (up 0.83%); BSE Realty (up 0.48%) and BSE Capital Goods (up 0.28%) were the sectoral gainers today. The main losers were BSE Healthcare (down 1.19%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.72%); BSE Power (down 0.59%); BSE Metal (down 0.41%) and BSE TECk (down 0.40%).
Out of the 30 stocks on the Sensex, 10 settled higher. The top gainers were ICICI Bank (up 1.70%); Wipro (up 1.38%); Maruti Suzuki (up 1.19%); State Bank of India (up 0.86%) and Larsen & Toubro (up 0.61%).The major loses were Bharti Airtel (down 2.17%); Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 1.87%); NTPC (down 1.85%); Infosys (down 1.41%) and Tata Steel (down 1.41%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Muthoot Finance (up 4.99%) and UCO Bank (up 4.87%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Container Corporation of India (down 3.72%) and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (down 3.56%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Royale Manor & Industries (up 19.94%) and Cords Cable Industries (down 19.86%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Revathi Equipment (down 18.95%) and Satra Properties India (down 18.31%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 22 ended in the in the green. The main gainers were Reliance Infrastructure (up 3.25%); HCL Technologies (up 2.71%); Axis Bank (up 2.66%); Ambuja Cement Company (up 2.51%) and Bank of Baroda (up 2.34%). The key losers were Bharti Airtel (down 2.53%); Lupin (down 1.86%); Infosys (down 1.75%); Sun Pharma (down 1.70%) and NTPC (down 1.66%).
Markets in Asia closed in the negative on concerns emanating from the US about the continuity of its stimulus programme.
The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.07%; the Hang Seng dropped 1.05%; the Jakarta Composite declined 0.41%; the KLSE Composite fell 0.27%; the Nikkei 225 declined 0.85%; the Straits Times tanked 1.54%; the Seoul Composite settled 1.52% lower and the Taiwan Weighted lost 1.05%.
At the time of writing, the key European markets were trading with gains up to 0.48% and the US stock futures were marginal gains.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of equities amounting to Rs88.49 crore on Wednesday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks totalling Rs99.75 crore.
Steel maker Mukand today said its Board has approved raising of up to Rs160 crore fund through a rights issue. The Board has also approved the company's raising the authorised share capital to Rs160 crore, from Rs125 crore. The stock fell 1.30% to Rs2.80 on the NSE.
Drug major Cipla today said it has granted the global commercialisation rights for its nasal spray ‘Dymista’ to Swedish partner Meda AB except for certain geographies. The two companies said they have extended an existing partnership for development under which Meda will have full coverage in all growth markets in Latin and South America, West Asia and Africa and Asia, including more than 120 new markets for the nasal spray prescribed for allergic rhinitis. Cipla fell 0.16% to close at Rs374.95.
The Lok Sabha MP from Pune was questioned for about three hours during which he was asked various details related to the controversial contracts, official sources said
Former Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi was today questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged irregularities in over Rs70 crore contracts given to a Mauritius-based company for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The Lok Sabha MP from Pune was questioned for about three hours during which he was asked various details related to the controversial contracts, official sources said.
He was also asked about reasons behind selecting the firm for executing contracts for the mega sporting event held from 3-14 October 2010, they said.
The firm–Event Knowledge System (EKS)—was allegedly given three contracts worth over Rs70 crore by the committee for giving consultancy on issues like venue development and management, games workforce planning and project management services.
The contracts have come under the scanner of the prime minister Manmohan Singh-appointed high-level committee headed by former CAG VK Shunglu for alleged wrongdoings.
The Shunglu Committee, which went into the alleged irregularities in the Games, had said the entire contract given to EKS was a ‘mockery’ of Quality Based Selection.
On the basis of Committee’s findings, the Prime Minister’s Office had recommended a probe by Enforcement Directorate and CBI against EKS.
The CBI had registered the case last year naming Kalmadi and other senior officials of the Games Organising Committee, the sources said.
Kalmadi is also facing other alleged corruption cases in the conduct of Commonwealth Games being investigated by the CBI.