Archive for June, 2017

Reliance Industries Limited to Raise INR 25,000 Crore for Jio Expansion Plan

June 28, 2017

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has sought permission from shareholders to raise INR 25,000 crore through non-convertible debentures. This is to replace existing high-cost borrowings and to fund the expansion plan of its telecom arm, Reliance Jio.

What are non-convertible debentures?

Non-convertible debentures are unsecured bonds. They cannot be converted into company stock or equity. In comparison to convertible debentures, these types of debentures usually have higher interest rates.

RIL’s fundraising plans

RIL is going to offer subscriptions for unsecured or secured redeemable non-convertible debentures in one or more series with a total nominal value up to INR 25,000 crore on the private placement.

Earlier in the Financial Year (FY) 2015-2016, the company had raised INR 30,000 crore in two parts through a rights issue. In January 2017, the company decided to raise another INR 30,000 crore to invest in Reliance Jio. The fund was raised with a rights issue of optionally convertible preference shares. Till date, RIL has invested almost INR 2 lakh crore in Reliance Jio.

How will Reliance Jio affect the telecom market?

Due to Reliance Jio’s free and low-priced offers, many telecom operators had to cut prices on their voice and data plans to keep at par and not lose market share. With the funds coming in through these debentures, Reliance Jio’s telecom plans are going to get a huge boost. This will make the market more competitive.

Proposals for the 40th Annual General Meeting

The company’s 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to be held on 21st July 2017. As a part of the agenda for this meeting, RIL will take shareholders’ approval on the following:

  • To raise INR 25,000 crore by issuing debentures in order to meet the ongoing capital expenditures as well as general corporate needs.
  • Providing dividends at a rate of INR 11 per equity share of INR 10 each fully paid-up for the FY 2016-2017.
  • Amend an Article of Association to impose a five percent ceiling on equity purchase by non-promoters in Jio Payments Bank Limited till RIL is its promoter, to comply with the terms and conditions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • To reappoint Nita Ambani as a Director in the company.

Also, the company will ask the Board of Directors to decide when the debentures are to be issued, what will be the face value of these debentures, the consideration for the issue, the coupon rate, the mode of payment, redemption period, and utilization of issue proceeds, among others.

Jio Payments Bank Limited

Jio Payments Bank Limited is the payments bank arm of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio. It was issued a license by the RBI to start the payments bank business in the country.

At present, with an equity share of 70 percent, RIL is the promoter of the payment bank. The State Bank of India (SBI) owns the remaining 30 percent share.

Summary

With the help of non-convertible debentures, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is all set to raise INR 25,000 crore to support its subsidiary, Reliance Jio’s expansion plan.

Jio is Helping 4G Growth and Making India the Largest Mobile Data User

June 22, 2017

Reliance Jio Infocomm is the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) led by Mukesh Ambani. According to experts in the industry, Reliance Jio is driving the growth of 4G in India. In a televised conference, Chairman Mukesh Ambani remarked that India is the top-ranked country in terms of mobile data usage.

How is Jio helping 4G growth?

The Japanese company, Rohm is of the opinion that Reliance Jio is paving the way for India’s 4G growth. According to Daisuke Nakamura, the Managing Director of Rohm, 4G has been introduced into the world a while ago, but because of service providers like Reliance Jio, India has the fastest rate of growth of 4G mobile data.

He is of the opinion that 4G is the best solution for non-urban areas in India to get access to high-speed Internet since broadband is currently only limited to urban cities. To get a 4G connection, 3G and 2G infrastructure just need to be upgraded. He believes that this is more feasible than setting up the broadband infrastructure.

Statistics shared by Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani shared some statistics regarding Reliance Jio and the Indian telecom sector in a conference held in February 2017. Some of these are as follows:

  • India is the leading country in terms of mobile data usage.
  • Reliance Jio users are consuming data in excess of 100 crore GB every month.
  • Users on the Jio network are consuming data that is in excess of 3.3 crore GB per day.
  • Last year, India held the 150th position world over in terms of broadband penetration.
  • Users of Reliance Jio have made video and voice calls of more than 200 crore minutes
  • Reliance Jio subscribers utilize as much data as the United States of America, collectively.
  • Jio users consume around 50 percent more mobile data than China.
  • In a period of mere six months, India has adopted digitization much faster than any other country.
  • Reliance Jio has become the largest mobile video networks world over.

About Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio was launched by Mukesh Ambani on 5th September 2016. The launch was done with introducing the ‘Welcome offer’ that allowed subscribers to use Jio’s 4G services for free for a period of three months. After the expiration of this offer, another one called the ‘Happy New Year Offer’ was introduced that extended these free benefits for another period of three months. In 170 days, Jio gained 100 million customers. According to Mukesh Ambani, this was an unparalleled level of embracing of any technology that has never been seen before.

Mukesh Ambani has shared that Reliance Jio has the most number of 4G base stations in the Indian telecom space. Jio alone has twice the number of 4G base stations than all the other telecom operators combined.

Apart from this, in a couple of years, Reliance Jio is aiming to increase its data capacity to double its current capacity.

Summary

Rohm stated that Reliance Jio is driving the 4G growth in India. Besides, India is now using the highest amount of mobile data in the world, according to Mukesh Ambani.

Reliance Industries and BP to Invest USD 6 Billion in Three Projects

June 16, 2017

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP Plc. (BP) have announced that they are going to invest INR 40,000 crore or USD 6 billion in three projects over a three- to five-year period.

About the project

The project aims to develop discoveries in the deepwater gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin. The first project will be for the R-series (D34). This project is a dry gas development in water that is deeper than 2000 meters. It is around 70 kilometers off shore. The two companies will develop the fields as a subsea tieback to the present riser and control platform off block KG-D6.

It is expected that the project will produce 12 million cubic meters per day. Contracts for the development of the fields will be awarded soon.

The implementation of the other two projects in the KG-D6 block is subject to the necessary regulatory and government approvals. RIL and BP are planning to submit their plans to the government for approval before 2017 ends.

Mukesh Ambani, the Chairperson and Managing Director (MD) of RIL said that the companies have an arbitration pending with the government. He also said that they will follow the normal course of law. He is sure that this will not come in the way of their investment and will have a fair outcome.

All three projects together are expected to bring on-stream about 30 to 35 million cubic meters or one billion cubic feet of gas per day during the years between 2020 and 2022.

RIL and BP partnership

RIL and BP partnership began when BP acquired a 30 percent stake for USD 7.2 billion in 21 gas and oil production-sharing contracts controlled by RIL, in 2011. The companies are also working together to expand their partnership and develop unconventional mobility solutions to address the digitization, electrification, and disruptive mobility trends.

At present, RIL owns 60 percent stake and BP owns 30 percent stake; while Canada-based Niko Resources Limited owns the remaining 10 percent of the KG basin.

Impact on Indian fuel market

The production from this development is expected to reduce India’s import dependence on gas by over 10 percent in 2022. According to Mukesh Ambani, the demand for fuel in India is expected to grow by about five to seven percent every year over the next decade.

Effect of the projects on shares

Most experts feel that the above projects are better for long-term outcomes. According to AK Prabhakar, Head of Research at IDBI Capital, such projects take time to deliver a positive Return on Equity (RoE).

Ambareesh Baliga, an independent market analyst was of the opinion that while RIL’s shares will not shoot up as it has been doing during the market decline in the recent past, the shares of the company may touch INR 1,500 in the next one to two years.

On 15th June 2017, the shares of oil market companies slipped up to 5 percent due to the expectation of fierce competition.

Summary

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP Plc. will invest USD 6 billion in three projects for developing discoveries over a three- to five-year period.

Reliance Jio to Launch New 4G Feature Phones

June 9, 2017

There have been rumors since January that Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio is going to release a 4G feature phone in the market, soon.  A recent report by 91mobiles revealed that Reliance Retail, the company that owns the LYF range of phones will be releasing two variants of the new 4G feature phone.

Specifications of the new phones

According to the report, the phones will be 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phones. They will come bundled with a new Reliance Jio 4G SIM card and Jio apps. There will be two variants of the phone. The first is a model with a Qualcomm chip while the second variant has a Spreadtrum chip.

Both phones have an alphanumeric keyboard below a 2.4-inch screen. The phones also have a 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal storage that is expandable with a microSD card, a 2 MP rear camera, and a front Video Graphics Array (VGA) camera. The phones are also said to have Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Global Positioning System (GPS) although nothing yet has been said about the wireless tethering option. Besides, the phones will have dedicated buttons for Jio apps like MyJio, JioCinema, JioTV, and JioMusic.

Price of the new phones

The model with the Qualcomm chip will cost around INR 1,800 or USD 28. The model with Spreadtrum chip will be a little cheaper at around INR 1,740 or USD 27. However, the company is planning to initially offer the phones at a subsidy. It is expected that the cost of the phones will range from INR 999 to INR 1,500 in the initial period.

Why is Jio launching feature phones?

With the 4G-enabled VoLTE feature phones, Reliance Jio is hoping to penetrate the rural market and attract users of low-end phones, who want high-speed internet. The telecom operator, who managed to acquire a customer base of over a 100 million subscribers in the first six months of its launch, has decided to go after the untapped rural segment for its future growth.

India’s mobile market is largely skewered towards feature phones instead of smart phones. As per research conducted by CyberMedia Research (CMR), 59 percent of the entire mobile market in India is dominated by feature phones. Thus, Reliance Jio has moved towards the segment of feature phones.

About 91mobiles and CMR

91mobiles is an online gadget research site. It offers latest news, tools, and reviews to users and helps them find gadgets that best suit their needs.

CMR is a market research, advisory, and consulting company. It is a member of the Market Research Society of India.

About Reliance Jio

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio is the telecom subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). During its launch in 2016, Reliance Jio offered customers services for free via its Welcome offer and then its Happy New Year offer. This helped the company to increase its user base to over a 100 million. Post that, it started charging a very low price for its services.

Summary

Reliance Jio is all set to launch two new feature phones to expand its user base.

Mary Meeker Report Highlights the Role of Jio in Driving Indian Internet Growth

June 2, 2017

The 2017 edition of the Mary Meeker Annual Internet Trends Report claims that Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio has played an important part in increasing Internet usage among Indians. With 355 million Internet users, India comes second in the world after China. The report also suggests that this 355 million equals to only 27 percent of population penetration, which means that there is still a lot of scope for increasing the number of Internet users and thus making it a lucrative market.

The report claims that despite Jio’s breakneck rapid growth has slowed down ever since the telecom provider has started charging for its services in 2017, there has been a surge in the Internet usage by Indian consumers. There are two reasons being attributed to this:

  • Firstly, there has been a trend of smart phone prices declining over the years making them more affordable.
  • Secondly, there has been a fall in Internet prices due to the price wars that started when Jio entered the telecom market.

How Jio conquered the market?

According to the Mary Meeker report, the cost of offering a 1 GB data plan per month is approximately INR 123 or around INR 1,482 on an average for 12 months. According to international standards, this cost is below the affordable limit of the Internet.

In September 2016, when Jio launched its services, it offered customers 4 GB data per day for free till December 2016. Post that, Jio rolled out its ‘Happy New Year’ plan, where consumers were offered 1 GB data per day for free. This is what forced other telecom operators to lower their data costs.

In March 2017, Jio announced its Jio Prime plan where consumers had to begin paying for data. However, the average cost per GB of data was still very low at around INR 11 per GB. This was much cheaper than what the other big players in the market were offering.

In February 2017, Jio announced that it had crossed the 100 million subscriber mark and as per figures recently released by the company, 72 million customers have enrolled in Jio’s Prime plan. With this, Jio has cornered around 39 percent of the mobile broadband market in India and 79 percent of the total Internet traffic. Besides, according to Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of the company, every month, Jio subscribers were using 100 crore GB of data during that time.

About Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio Infocomm is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). The telecom company is currently headed by Mukesh Ambani. It was launched in September 2016 and has since then witnessed rapid growth.

After conquering the Indian mobile broadband market, Jio is now planning to roll out its fixed line broadband service by Diwali 2017. The company will offer high-speed broadband Internet at attractive prices.

Summary

According to the Mary Meeker Annual Internet Trends Report, Reliance Jio has helped in the significant growth of Indian Internet through its affordable plans and offers.