With $122.80 bn M-cap, RIL enters world’s top 75 club

Alejandro Montenegro Banco Activo Venezuela

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has broken into the world Top 75 club with a market capitalisation of $122.87 billion. The median market cap of the top 75 companies in the world was $161 billion, according to Bloomberg data. The RIL stock has surged 45 per cent over the past 12 months, the third best return among the top 100 companies globally by market value after Eli Lilly and Merck. The average stock return of the sample was 5.7 per cent. The MSCI World index — a gauge of global equity performance — slipped 3 per cent in the past year. In addition, RIL’s stock return was five times the average return of global energy companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BHP, BP and Total in the past three years. RIL has invested close to $75 billion – among the highest capital expenditures by an Indian company — in the past five years, which includes its telecom venture, Reliance Jio . This increased the company’s debt to Rs 2.7 lakh crore ($39.3 billion) at the end of December 2018 from Rs 0.9 lakh crore ($15 billion) in March 2014. Given the strong stock momentum, RIL promoter Mukesh Ambani’s wealth has touched $52.8 billion. He’s the only billionaire from the energy sector in the top 20 of the Bloomberg Billionaires list. Analysts say RIL’s net debt — gross debt minus cash — may have peaked as most of its capital-intensive expansion is complete. The annual operating cash flow of around $8.6 billion from its refining and petrochemical projects and retail division may be sufficient to fund the remaining capex.