Ambani Offers Free Phones And Shares At Reliance Industries’ 40th AGM
All you need to know about Reliance Industries’ 40th AGM.
Reliance Industries Ltd.’s 40th annual general meeting included what could be a game-changing launch and a record payout to shareholders. The oil and gas major set goals for existing businesses and laid out plans for future ones.
Here are some of the key highlights from top boss Mukesh Ambani’s speech.
The Bonus Issue
All RIL shareholders will be rewarded with a bonus issue of one share against each existing share, making this the largest bonus issue by value declared by any Indian company
The payout came at the end of its Rs 2.7-lakh-crore capital expenditure cycle which began in financial year 2012-13. The company was left with Rs 72,107 crore of cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, 2017. Taking away the Rs 20,000 crore investment set aside for Reliance Jio through a rights issue, the company will be left with Rs 52,107 crore for a shareholder payout.
The last time Reliance gave a 1:1 bonus was in October 2009, when the Ambani brothers were engaged in a legal dispute over the price of natural gas.
The New JioPhone
After major disruption in the telecom industry courtesy seven months of free Reliance Jio services and several promotional offers, Ambani announced the launch of a 4G web-enabled feature phone called the JioPhone.
The phone, which offers voice services using VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) technology, is being made available for a deposit of Rs1,500, which is refundable after three years.
The handset will come with Jio Music, Jio Cinema, Jio TV and other Jio applications and will support more than 22 regional languages. It will be available for beta testing from August 15 and for pre-booking from August 24.
Handsets will be manufactured in India from the last quarter of 2017, Ambani said, aligning it with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Perks Of A JioPhone
“Voice will always be free” on a JioPhone, said Ambani. Reliance Jio users will get unlimited data on the phone for a monthly tariff of Rs 153. The data available on a JioPhone will be worth Rs 4,000-5,000 of data on any other network, he added.
With this, I am putting an end to unaffordable data forever.Mukesh Ambani, CMD, Reliance Industries
Services will also be available through a weekly plan of Rs 54 and a two-day plan of Rs 24.
Towards the end of the year, the telecom company will launch its NFC support system which will allow users to link their bank accounts, Jan Dhan accounts and UPI accounts to the device. The update will be made available through a software update, said Ambani’s son Akash Ambani.
Another launch for the day was the JioPhone TV Cable - a feature which will allow users to stream video content onto any large screen television through the handset. With its TV offering, Reliance Jio will rival cable, DTH service providers such as Dish TV India, Sun TV and Hathway.
Goals For Existing Businesses
“Jio will cover over 99 percent of the country’s population in the next one year,” Ambani said, announcing his aim for the year.
For the retail business, Ambani targets a growth of 30 percent over the next 10 years. The energy and materials business is also set to reach an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of Rs 1 lakh crore in the next few years, he added.
The oil and gas major will build, within a decade, new businesses of the same value as its existing businesses, Ambani said.