Why Reliance shares have hit 4-month high

Shares in Reliance Industries, India’s biggest conglomerate, soared to four-and-a-half month high Monday. The stock was the top gainer on the 50-share Nifty index and volumes in the counter exceeded the 50-day average.

The stock closed 5.9 per cent higher at Rs 786 on the NSE. It last traded around these levels on March 19, 2012.

Reliance has also regained the pole position as the India’s most valued company in terms of market capitalization.

Sources told NDTV Profit that the sharp rise in the stock is in anticipation of a key meeting between the company and the oil ministry officials on Tuesday.

The oil ministry has convened a management committee meeting for RIL’s KGD-6 gas block, sources said. The committee, headed by the Director General of Hydrocarbon (DGH), who is the regulator for oil explorers, and comprising of members from the oil ministry and RIL officials, is likely to discuss investment plans for KG-D6 block, which have been pending for the past two years.

The committee may also consider the commercial viability of three new significant gas discoveries in the KGD-6 gas block. These discoveries are likely to help RIL-BP-Niko to arrest the gas production decline in KGD-6. Once the discoveries are declared commercial, RIL-BP would integrate the development plan for the three discoveries with 13 other discoveries.

The management committee meeting comes after a meeting between the management of RIL & BP and the Petroleum Minister last month.

Besides, the investment plan for 2011-12 and 2012-13 is still pending for approval.

RIL’s underperformance over the last 18 months has cast a shadow over Indian equity markets. That’s because the stock carries a substantial weightage on both the Sensex and Nifty indices. The stock, once a favourite with foreign funds, has seen a slump in investor interest as profits shrunk amid a slowdown in its core energy business and recent forays into consumer-focused segments such as telecom and retail have yet to garner profits.

The stock has been under selling pressure despite a $2.1 billion share buyback announced in January to bolster the stock.

Reliance posted its third consecutive drop in quarterly profit in the June quarter, but refining margins fell less than expected and treasury gains from its huge cash pile bolstered profits.

It seems that the worst might be over for the company, analysts said.

The company has a strong balance sheet, it has shown good progress on the Shale gas front, and there is fundamental strength in the company, Deven Choksey, MD at KR Choksey Securities told NDTV Profit.

“The decision on KG-D6 capex approval is likely to come. This will be good news especially if there is a positive outcome… the stock price will go up,” Choksey added.

In May, the government disallowed a plan by Reliance, under the state policy to promote exploration, to recover costs of about $1 billion invested to develop the offshore gas field.

Choksey said the stock could easily touch a price of Rs 950-1050 in a year.

Technical analyst Sarvendra Srivastava also has a buy call on the stock with a target of Rs 790-800 in the short term.

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