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Reliance's Jio Financial valued at $19 bn on market debut

By Reuters

  • 21 Aug 2023
Reliance's Jio Financial valued at $19 bn on market debut
Jio Financial non-executive chairman KV Kamath and BSE chairman Subhash S Mundra at listing ceremony. | Credit: Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas

Shares in India's Jio Financial Services (JFS), carved out of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, fell as much as 5% on their trading debut on Monday, valuing the company at 1.58 trillion rupees ($19 billion).

JFS' stock opened at 262 rupees and fell to a low of 248.90 rupees, with almost 70 million shares trading hands. Reliance Industries had approved the listing of 6.35 billion shares, but it was not immediately clear how much of a stake this represented in the company.  

The current valuation makes JFS the third-largest non-banking financial company (NBFC) in India, behind Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv, which are valued at 4.15 trillion rupees and 2.32 trillion rupees, respectively.

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While JFS is yet to build out a business in India's fast-growing financial services sector, analysts say its access to the vast trove of data from Reliance's telecom, digital and retail businesses will give it a leg up in lending.

JFS has already formed a joint venture with BlackRock Inc to launch asset management services in India, with an initial investment of $150 million each.

JFS "intends to be a full service financial services player", non-executive chairman KV Kamath said during the listing ceremony.

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Ambani's Reliance had last month spun off JFS, with the stock price set at 261.85 rupees during a special discovery session. The price was higher than the 160-190 rupees per share estimate by five analysts polled by Reuters.

As part of the de-merger, shareholders of Reliance Industries received one JFS share for every Reliance share.

JFS is included in major global indices such as FTSE as well as India's blue-chip Nifty 50 index after its spin off because Reliance Industries is also part of these indices. 

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It is scheduled to be removed from some of India's indices at the end of its third day of listing, as per exchange rules.

In July, the company named Hitesh Kumar Sethia as chief executive officer, and appointed Ambani's daughter Isha Ambani as a non-executive director. 

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