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On Friday, as reports of differences between Mukesh and Anil Ambani hit the front pages, the Reliance Industries scrip dropped 3.37 per cent, closing at Rs 527.15 and dragging the BSE Sensex down by 64 points. RIL market cap was eroded by Rs 2,569 crore.
RIL is a frontline trading scrip with an extremely high weightage in the Sensex. Similarly, Reliance Energy has become a powerhouse since it acquired BSES.
More significant, in stock-market terms, is the importance of Reliance to foreign institutional investors. FIIs hold 22.85 per cent in Reliance while GDR holders account for 6.13 per cent. RIL ranks number two in the list of top 10 FIIs holdings by value. Since June 2004, FIIs have ramped up their holdings in Reliance from $3.67 billion to $4.54 billion (the figure up to September).
All this makes the future of Reliance -- and the relationship between Ambani brothers -- of crucial importance to the stockmarket. Naturally, Mukesh Ambani’s remarks about ownership issues have set alarm bells ringing. While nobody from Reliance will talk about these ownership issues, the Ambani family and associates are believed to own 46.67% of RIL, which has a market capitalisation of over Rs 76,000 crore.
Who owns this 46.67 per cent and how will it be divided? From all accounts, Dhirubhai Ambani died interstate, that is without making a will. If the property is registered under the Hindu Undivided Family law, then it will be divided among his wife and sons.