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Mukesh Ambani India’s richest with $84.5 billion

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani topped the Forbes list of India’s 10 richest billionaires with a net worth of $84.5 billion, followed by Adani Group chief Gautam Adani.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambani accomplished a fund-raising feat, garnering $35 billion through a string of deals to achieve his target of reducing his flagship Reliance Industries’ net debt to zero by 2021.

“He also sold a third of telecom unit Jio to marquee investors such as Facebook and Google and offloaded 10 percent of Reliance Retail to private equity firms such as KKR and General Atlantic, plus concluded a $7.3 billion rights issue of Reliance shares,” Forbes said.

Second richest Indian, Adani, who has also diversified the group’s business and has taken a significant share in India’s airport management and operations business has a net worth of $50.5 billion.

Adani acquired a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport, the country’s second-busiest, last September. He also sold 20 per cent in his listed renewables firm, Adani Green Energy, to French energy giant Total for $2.5 billion.

The third richest Indian is HCL founder Shiv Nadar as per the Forbes list of India’s 10 Richest Billionaires 2021, with a net worth of $23.5 billion.

Avenue Supermarts’ founder Radhakishan Damani ($16.5 billion) and Kotak Mahindra Bank MD Uday Kotak ($15.9 billion) took the fourth and the fifth spot in the list.

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India spectrum auction gets bids of Rs 77,810 crore, Jio leads

New Delhi: The spectrum auction 2021 in India concluded with the government receiving total bids worth Rs 77,814.80 crore.

“The value of spectrum for which there are winning bids is Rs 77,814.80 crore. Incremental bids for Rs 668.20 crore were made on Tuesday,” said Anshu Prakash, Secretary in the Department of Telecommunications.

Prakash said that bidding took place for spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands. The total quantity of spectrum for which right to use has been acquired in these bands is 855.60 MHz.

Three bidders – Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) – participated in the auction. Reliance Jio Infocomm was by far the biggest bidder with 488.35 MHZ of spectrum acquired for Rs 67,122 crore.

Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) for the spectrum acquired in this auction will be payable at the rate of 3 percent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of the licensee, excluding revenue from wireline services.

These provisional results are subject to scrutiny and approval by the government.

Reliance Jio announced that it has successfully acquired the right to use spectrum in all 22 circles across India in the recently concluded spectrum auction.

RJIL has the highest amount of sub-GHz spectrum with 2X10MHz contiguous spectrum in most circles. It also has at least 2X10MHz in 1800MHz band and 40MHz in 2300MHz band in each of the 22 circles.

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Partnership with Jio to help support millions of SMBs: Zuckerberg

New Delhi: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday said its partnership with Jio Platforms will help support millions of small businesses in India.

Zuckerberg made the remark during a conversation with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries at the first Facebook Fuel for India 2020 event.

“At Facebook, we are in the business of serving small businesses. And nowhere is this more true than in India,” the Facebook CEO said.

“With more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people around the country relying on them for jobs — these small businesses form a big part of what our partnership with Jio can serve here,” he said.

In April this year, Facebook announced investment of Rs 43,574 crore in Jio Platforms for a 9.99 per cent stake.

Zuckerberg said that supporting small businesses has become more important in view of the Covid-19 induced impact on the economy.

“One of the big opportunities I see with the partnership with Jio Platforms, is the role that we can play together in supporting the millions of small businesses in India – especially now with the impact that Covid is having,” he said.

“It is accelerating the move for a lot of businesses from physical storefronts to digital.”

Ambani said that technology will democratize wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses in India.

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Need to ensure timely rollout of 5G: Modi to industry

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that all stakeholders in the telecom sector along with the government will have to work together to ensure a timely roll-out of the fifth generation technology.

Addressing the India Mobile Congress (IMC), Modi urged the industry to work together to make India a global hub for telecom equipment, design development and manufacturing.

“Let us work together to make India a global hub for telecom equipment, design, development and manufacturing,” he said.

PM Modi said that it is because of mobile technology that benefits worth billions of dollars were available to millions of Indians. He added that it is because of mobile technology that the government was able to help the poor and vulnerable “quickly” during the pandemic.

“It is because of mobile technology that we are seeing billions of cashless transactions which boost formalization and transparency. It is because of mobile technology that we will enable a smooth contactless interface on toll booths,” the Prime Minister told the industry participants.

Commending the telecom and technology players amid the pandemic and the lockdown, Modi said that it was because of the efforts of the industry and its innovations that the world was functional even during the pandemic, including connectivity, education and business and other operations.

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KKR to invest Rs 5,500 crore in Reliance Retail ventures

By The SATimes News Service

Mumbai: Reliance Industries Limited on Wednesday announced that global investment firm KKR will invest Rs 5,550 crore into its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures Limited to pick up 1.28 per cent equity in the company.

This investment values Reliance Retail at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.21 lakh crore, a company statement said.

The deal marks the second investment by KKR in a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, following a Rs 11,367 crore investment in Jio Platforms announced earlier this year.

KKR is making its investment from its Asia private equity funds. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “I am pleased to welcome KKR as an investor in Reliance Retail Ventures as we continue our onward march to growing and transforming the Indian Retail ecosystem for the benefit of all Indians. KKR has a proven track record of being a valuable partner to industry-leading franchises and has been committed to India for many years. We look forward to working with KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise across our digital services and retail businesses.”

Reliance Retail Limited, a subsidiary of RRVL, operates the retail business of the company serving close to 640 million footfalls across its 12,000 stores nationwide.

Founded in 1976, KKR has $222 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2020. It established its first of eight Asia offices in 2005 and the firm currently has approximately $5.1 billion in private equity investments across more than 15 Indian companies, including Jio Platforms, JB Chemicals, Max Healthcare, Eurokids International and Ramky Enviro Engineers.

Henry Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KKR, said, “We are pleased to deepen our relationship with Reliance Industries through this investment in Reliance Retail Ventures, which is empowering merchants of all sizes and fundamentally changing the retail experience for Indian consumers. Reliance Retail’s new commerce platform is filling an important need for both consumers and small businesses as more Indian consumers move to shopping online and the company offers tools for Kiranas to be a critical part of the value chain. We are thrilled to support Reliance Retail in its mission to become India’s leading omnichannel retailer and ultimately to build a more inclusive Indian retail economy.”

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Another investment in Jio, now ADIA to put in Rs 5,683 crore

Mumbai: In yet another major investment into Jio Platforms, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has announced an investment of Rs 5,683.50 crore by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).

This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. ADIA’s investment will translate into a 1.16 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforams on a fully diluted basis.

With this investment, Jio Platforms has raised Rs 97,885.65 crore from leading global investors, including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala and ADIA in less than seven weeks.

Jio Platforms, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is a next-generation technology platform focused on providing high-quality and affordable digital services across India, with more than 388 million subscribers.

The RIL statement said that Jio’s vision is to enable a Digital India for 1.3 billion people and businesses across the country, including small merchants, micro-businesses and farmers so that all of them can enjoy the fruits of inclusive growth.

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