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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 17:43 GMT
Last trading as Reliance splits
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Indian stock brokers in Bombay
Reliance is one of the most widely traded shares on the markets
Shares of India's industrial giant, Reliance, are being traded for the last time on Indian stock markets ahead of a split of the group's core businesses.

On Wednesday, Reliance shares will be traded to reflect the division and priced accordingly.

The split came after a bitter feud between the two Ambani brothers who head Reliance, Mukesh and Anil.

The Ambanis own about one-third of Reliance - worth about 12% of shares listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Reliance has the largest public investor base in India with more than 3.1 million shareholders.

At least one in every four investors has Reliance shares in his or her portfolio and chances are that every investor has bought and or sold Reliance shares at one point or another during their trading career.

I certainly don't think the investors will lose confidence in the company and its shares
Rajesh Jain
Pranav Securities

The company is also one of the most traded shares on the benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and is almost always featured in the Sensex - the sensitive index comprising 30 shares of companies listed on the exchange that are in demand and have seen maximum trading.

But analysts say the share price of the Reliance companies will not suffer because of the split.

"The petroleum and refinery companies of Reliance are considered the core of the group and these still look strong," Hemen Kapadia of market advisory firm Morpheus Inc told the BBC news website.

"The investor will look at this while buying a Reliance share, the split after sometime will not make a difference."

"The company is solid and while one may question the influence it has on the Sensex following the division, I certainly don't think the investors will lose confidence in the company and its shares," adds Rajesh Jain, director of brokerage firm Pranav Securities.

However, the Director of brokerage firm Chudiwalla Securities, Alok Chudiwalla, told the BBC website there was a sense of anxiety in the market.

"The investor is certainly worried about what will happen to Reliance Industries now that the division is complete and this will reflect in the share prices.

"The price will be unstable, probably see a downfall, until the shareholders get a fair idea of the direction in which both Reliance entities led by each brother are headed. Then only will the company share see some stability."

Split

Reliance Industries recently announced a net profit of $1,458m for the period beginning April to December 2005 - an increase of 24% when compared to the same period in 2004.

Under the terms of their settlement, Mukesh Ambani controls the oil, gas and petrochemicals business while Anil Ambani oversees telecoms, electricity and the group's finance arm.

Reliance was founded 46 years ago by one of India's most famous entrepreneurs, Dhirubhai Ambani, to trade in polyester yarn.

Dhirubhai Ambani died intestate in July 2002, leaving the brothers to battle for control of a massive conglomerate that spans numerous industrial sectors.




SEE ALSO:
Deal ends Reliance brothers' feud
18 Jun 05 |  South Asia
Reliance unit loses Anil Ambani
03 Jan 05 |  Business
Stock off-load eases Ambani feud
24 Dec 04 |  South Asia
Saga of India's tycoon brothers
01 Dec 04 |  South Asia


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