Mukesh Ambani’s $20bn Jio Financial Services to debut in Mumbai

Last month, JFS and BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, agreed to form a joint venture to enter India’s asset management industry

FILE PHOTO: Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
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Shares of Jio Financial Services, a unit of Reliance Industries, are set to debut in Mumbai on Monday with investors optimistic about the recently spun-off company's potential to tap India’s vast shadow lending sector.

Jio Financial was valued at $20 billion last month through a special trading session, and in Reliance’s most recent annual report its billionaire owner Mukesh Ambani said the new company will unlock value for shareholders and give them an opportunity to be a part of a new growth platform.

Reliance has offered one share of Jio Financial for every share owned by the firm’s investors.

Jio Financial, which as yet boasts of little revenue but owns a 6.1 per cent stake in Reliance, has already announced a partnership with BlackRock to set up an Indian asset management venture.

Analysts expect the company to benefit from Reliance’s wider presence in digital and retail businesses, potentially positioning it among India’s biggest non-banking finance companies and helping Ambani create an empire similar to China’s Alibaba Group and Tencent.

“I won’t be surprised if the stock lists at a much higher price than the discovered price,” said Ambareesh Baliga, an independent market expert.

There is lots of interest from high net-worth individuals and retail investors “simply because it belongs to the Reliance group,” he added.

Following the spin-off, Jio Financial’s shares have continued to be part of key stocks gauges, including the benchmark Sensex and Nifty 50 Indexes, but their value has remained fixed. The change follows new rules adopted by Indian bourses to handle mergers and acquisitions.

“There is large scope for expansion, especially in credit offered to individual borrowers,” said Anita Gandhi, a strategist with Arihant Capital Markets.

Updated: August 21, 2023, 4:28 AM