Friday, 25 November 2011

Reliance Capital mulling bonus, banking entry: Ambani

Mumbai, Reliance Capital could consider a bonus issue and make an entry into the banking sector even as it hopes to conclude soon a 26-percent stake sale in its life insurance arm to Japan’s Nippon Life Insurance, chairman Anil Ambani said Tuesday.

“Banking is a new growth opportunity. We will evaluate opportunities to enter this high growth sector and are keeping track of all regulatory developments on this front,” the group chairman told the annual general meeting of Reliance Capital here.

“Significant under-penetration of financial products and services in India will continue to create immense opportunity for our growth. We will expand our asset management group in emerging markets and grow our wealth management and private equity business.”

The financial power will be named Reliance Bank.

Relying to a question from the floor, he also said that the request of shareholders for a bonus issue will be sent to the company’s board, which can decide accordingly.

Ambani said in its first value-unlocking transaction, Reliance Capital had signed a definitive agreement with Nippon Life Insurance to sell 26 percent stake in Reliance Life Insurance earlier this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

The money from the proceeds — an estimated Rs.3,000 crore — will help in restructuring the company’s debt, the chairman added.

The company has also signed a pact with Nippon Life for collaboration opportunities and strategic partnerships in all Reliance Capital-promoted financial businesses earlier this month, he said.

According to him, Reliance Capital was now India’s top non-banking finance company with net worth of nearly Rs.8,000 crore, having over 20 million customers, 8,000-plus offices and a pool of over 18,000 men and women as its human capital.

“We are also pleased that the growth has been achieved in an entirely organic fashion. Our strategy is now to unlock value from all our major businesses for the benefit of our 1.3 million shareholders.”

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