How Mukesh Ambani’s deal with Saudi Aramco would help RIL; top brokerages explain

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Published: April 18, 2019 11:53:01 AM

Even as the giant deal between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and world’s most profitable firm Saudi Aramco continues to hog limelight, analysts say that the potential deal will help RIL in de-risking and de-leveraging.

The possible deal with Saudi Aramco could derisk RIL’s energy business in the long-term and could accelerate its deleveraging plans in the near term.

Even as the giant pact between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and world’s most profitable firm Saudi Aramco continues to hog limelight, analysts say that the potential deal will help RIL in de-risking and de-leveraging. According to global firm HSBC, the possible deal could derisk RIL’s energy business in the long-term and could accelerate its deleveraging plans in the near term. HSBC has retained a ‘Buy’ rating on the shares with a target price of Rs 1,500. Reliance Industries is expected to report Q4 results later today.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in talks to buy a minority stake in the refining and petrochemicals businesses of Reliance Industries, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the development. According to the currently available details, Saudi Aramco is looking to pick up a 25% stake. The source told Reuters that discussions were “serious.”

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With an annual profit of $110 billion in 2018, equivalent to Rs 7.7 lakh crore, Saudi Aramco remains the world’s most profitable firm in the world. Reliance Industries is India’s biggest refining and petrochemicals firm which runs a 1.4 million barrels per day refining complex at Jamnagar. It plans to expand capacity to 2 million bpd by 2030, Reuters reported citing plans shared with the Indian government.

According to Morgan Stanley, the potential stake sale in refining-petchem business highlights focus on de-risking business. The potential sale adds to list of possible $20-30 billion asset monetisation opportunities. “The long-term debt/liabilities will be reduced by 50-75% if sale were to happen, noted the research firm.

The global firm has a target stock price of Rs 1,626 on the shares. RIL shares are trading 3% higher at Rs 1,385 on NSE. The target price implies an upside of more than 17% from the current share price.

The deal talk with Reliance Industries comes after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited India in February and then said that he expected investment opportunities worth more than $100 billion over the next two years. Reuters noted that Mukesh Ambani has travelled to Saudi Arabia at least twice since December, discussing joint investment among other issues with Aramco’s chief executive, Amin Nasser.

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