Shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) surged over 9 per cent to Rs 1,035 on the BSE on Wednesday on report that US tech giant Facebook is looking to buy a multiillion-dollar stake in Reliance Jio. India's fastest-growing network, Jio, has over 370 million subscribers.
According to a report by Financial Times, Facebook is keen on picking up a 10 per cent stake in the Indian telecommunication behemoth, however, the outspread of coronavirus could alter the schedule of signing the deal.
Jio is the only company that can possibly take on US tech giants. RIL poured in huge sums of money to expand Reliance Jio and make it the biggest telecom player in the country. This, however, increased the debt burden of Reliance and this deal could help the company to achieve its goal of cutting net debt to zero by March 2021, the report said.
Reliance announced last year that it would separate Jio out into a new company and attract new investors ahead of an eventual listing.
At 10 AM, the stock was up 6.33 per cent at Rs 1,002.80. In comparison, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was trading 0.76 per cent lower. On the BSE, 11.6 crore shares of Reliance Industries (1.8 per cent of equity) changed hands in pre-market block at Rs 949 per share.
In the last one month, Reliance Industries' stock has lost 29.32 per cent over last one month compared to 32.8 per cent drop in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. The stock hit its 52-week low of Rs 875.70 on the BSE on March 23, 2020.