Reliance rubbishes reports of possible Jio listing

Reliance Industries on Tuesday dismissed as speculative reports that it plans to list its telecom subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm, while company officials and investment bankers ruled out such a possibility in the near future.

''We would like to state that the said article is speculative and as a policy, we do not comment on media speculation and rumours,'' RIL said in a statement. Company officials told The Economic Times that the company had all the cash needed to repay debt and for any future expansion.

A report by Bloomberg on Tuesday stated that the mobile operator is weighing an initial public offering. The report cited unidentified sources saying that Reliance Industries, the conglomerate owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is holding internal discussions about preparing to list Jio as soon as late 2018 or early 2019.

Jio, which hasn't made a profit since its official launch last year, is targeting to improve its financial performance before any share sale, the Bloomberg report stated. Jio reported a net loss of Rs271 crore in the quarter ended 30 September, though the business made a profit before interest and taxes over the period.

The wireless operator is ''ahead of our schedule in terms of the returns'' , Ambani said at a 1 December event in New Delhi.

Jio has accumulated more than 138.6 million subscribers, making it the fourth-largest operator at the end of September, according to data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Ambani has a net worth of nearly $40 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Shares of Reliance Industries have jumped 70 per cent this year, giving the company a market value of about $93 billion.

India's benchmark index is trading near an all-time high, which has helped fuel a record IPO haul in the country. First-time share sales in the country have raised Rs75,000 crore ($11.6 billion) this year, more than double the previous record set in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.