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RIL jumps on buzz Facebook eyes stake in Rel Jio

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Reliance Industries (RIL) surged 6.35% to Rs 1003 after the media reported that Facebook is in negotiations to acquire a stake in Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm.

According to the media reports, the social media giant, Facebook, was close to an initial agreement to pick up a 10% stake in Jio, but discussions could not advance due to the global disruption following the coronavirus outbreak. A deal was to have been announced by March end, reports added.

Report suggested that a deal with Facebook will help Mukesh Ambani achieve his ambition of cutting parent company RIL's debt to zero by March 2021.

Meanwhile, reports further added that Google had also been engaged in separate talks with Reliance Jio.

In August 2019, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Microsoft announced an alliance to accelerate digital transformation in India. As part of the agreement, Jio will provide its internal workforce with cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365 and will migrate its non-network applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Jio will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to develop innovative cloud solutions focused on the needs of Indian businesses.

Reliance Jio's standalone revenue from operations, including access revenues, stood at Rs 13,968 crore in December quarter. It posted a 62.5% jump in its standalone net profit at Rs 1,350 crore for the quarter, compared with net profit of Rs 831 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. Reliance Jio's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) grew 38% YoY to Rs 5,601 crore. EBITDA margin was 40.1%.

The December quarter saw Reliance Jio subscriber base reaching 37 crore, up 32.1% year-on-year, with net addition of 1.48 crore during Q3 December 2019. The company's ARPU (average revenue per user) during the quarter stood at Rs 128.4 per subscriber per month. Total wireless data traffic during the quarter was recorded at 1,208 crore GB, which is up 39.9% YoY. The company said the total voice traffic during the quarter stood at 82,640 crore minutes, growing at 30.3% YoY.

During the quarter, Jio introduced IUC (interconnect usage charges) tariffs for recovery of termination charges owing to regulatory uncertainties. For recharges done by Jio customers effective 10 October, calls made to other mobile operators are charged at the prevailing IUC rate (6 paise per minute) through top-up vouchers.

On a consolidated basis, Reliance Industries (RIL) reported 13.55% increase in net profit to Rs 11,640 crore on 2.52% decrease in net sales to Rs 152,939 crore in Q3 December 2019 over Q3 December 2018.

RIL is India's largest private sector company. RIL's activities span hydrocarbon exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and digital services.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 09:50 IST