Futures trade banned in RPL

Futures trade banned in RPL

Mumbai: Amid rumours about US energy giant Chevron exiting Reliance Petroleum, derivatives trading in the company’s scrip has been banned.

A Chevron spokesperson told PTI from California that it was evaluating its options regarding RPL. The petroleum major owns 5% stake in RPL, currently valued at about $1 billion as against a purchase price of $300 million.

Meanwhile, RPL shares have been seeing huge turnover in both cash and derivatives segment over the past few days. The derivatives trading was banned soon after it resumed trading on Monday after a previous ban.

According to a circular issued by National Stock Exchange, the RPL stock futures had crossed 95% of the market-wide position limit and is currently in the ban period.

Late last week, RIL said that it sold 18 crore shares of RPL for over a billion dollar, reducing its stake to 70.99%. This triggered speculations that Chevron could offload its 5% stake as it might not be able to raise its stake to the desired 29% level.

While taking a 5% stake in RPL last year, Chevron was also given an option to acquire a further 24%. However, speculation hit the market that the US company might acquire a maximum 20% stake now as RIL would not like to dilute its stake to below 51%.

“Chevron continues to evaluate options with our ownership in Reliance Petroleum. We will provide specific project updates when definitive decisions are made," the company spokesperson said in a statement.

An RPL spokesperson could not be contacted immediately.

NSE said that derivatives trading in RPL would be allowed only to decrease the existing position and taking fresh positions would not be allowed.

Earlier, on 7 November, the NSE had banned the stock futures of RPL, making it the first stock among the 50 constituents of the Nifty Index to be placed under the Futures and Options (F&O) ban.

In the cash segment also, RPL has been the top-traded stock on BSE and NSE for the past few days. The stock was seen attracting highest turnover today as well on both the bourses.