Reliance shares up ahead of meeting on expansion hopes

Reliance shares up ahead of meeting on expansion hopes

Mumbai: Shares in Reliance Industries rose as much as 1.7% on Friday morning, as investors bet the Indian energy major would unveil a slew of diversification and expansion plans to boost growth.

Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire chairman of Reliance, is scheduled to address the annual shareholders meeting that is set to start at 11 a.m. Investors were also keeping a close eye on whether long-estranged brother Anil Ambani appears at the meeting after the two called a truce last month.

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Reliance shares, which have the highest weighting in the main index, were up 1.3% at Rs1,085 by 10.30 a.m., in a Mumbai market that was up 0.4%. The stock had risen as much as 1.7% in early trade. Expectations that Reliance will enter sectors as diverse as power, telecoms, and healthcare have been rampant since Mukesh Ambani last month ended an agreement with Anil that prevented them from competing on each others’ turf.

Exactly five years ago, the two brothers split the business empire founded by their father after disagreements over ownership, and the non-compete agreement had been a source of acrimony between the two.

The Times of India reported on Friday that Reliance was in advanced talks to buy fibre optic cables and telecoms tower business from mobile operator Reliance Communications, controlled by Anil.

Reliance may also buy a 26% stake in shipbuilder Pipavav Shipyard, the Economic Times reported on Friday.