(Bloomberg) — Reliance Industries Ltd., will create a financial services unit to feed its consumer businesses that are contributing an increasing share of profits to the retail-to-refining conglomerate.
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It will also restructure the engineering and projects divisions as it sets about carrying out large infrastructure investments including the rolling out an ambitious 5G network in the country.
Jio Financial Services will be spun off and listed in India, Reliance said in an exchange filing Friday. It will lend to consumers and merchants based on proprietary data analytics and will eventually branch out to insurance, payments, digital broking and asset management.
Every Reliance shareholder will get one share of the new firm for every share held in the parent.
The spinoff will complement Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s consumer businesses, which include India’s largest wireless operator with almost 428 million users, top retail chain with over 16,000 stores. Owning the levers of credit in a nation with more than a billion consumers could also help the billionaire tycoon bolster his ambitions to take on Amazon.com Inc. in e-commerce.
Jio Financial “will be a technology-led business, delivering financial products digitally by leveraging the nationwide omni-channel presence of Reliance’s consumer businesses,” Ambani said in the statement. It is “uniquely positioned” to capture opportunities and bring “millions of Indians into formal financial institutions.”
No time line was announced by the company for Jio Financial’s listing. Regulatory licenses for the key businesses are in place, according to the filing which followed the flagship’s quarterly earnings.
The group will separate the engineering and infrastructure departments of its unit Reliance Projects and Property Management Services Ltd. and merge them with the parent company.
Reliance seeks to leverage its engineering strength through this restructuring for implementing large projects across oil-to-chemicals, new energy and the 5G roll-out, the company said in a separate statement late Friday evening.
Billionaire Ambani has pledged to invest $75 billion in renewables infrastructure, $25 billion in rolling out 5G services across India and another $9 billion in its oil-to-chemical business in next five years.
The company is known for its project execution skills and has built the world’s biggest oil refining complex in western India.
Reliance Profit Beats as Jio, Retail Offset Refining Blues
Reliance, India’s largest company by market value, posted a larger-than-expected quarterly profit as a robust performance by its consumer units offset the weakness in its traditional energy business. Its refining business was hit by a new local windfall tax on fuel exports.
–With assistance from Debjit Chakraborty and Anirban Nag.
(Updates with details about restructuring of engineering resources from eighth paragraph.)
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