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RIL to hike capex to Rs 1.5 lakh crore in FY16

by April 23, 2016 General

Reliance Industries, which on Friday reported its highest quarterly net profit in eight years, said the firm will increase the capital expenditure by Rs 30,000 crore this fiscal to complete ongoing refining and petrochem projects as well as for the telecom business.

“Our capex in the reporting fiscal year stood at Rs 1.2 trillion (nearly Rs 79.8 lakh crore) and this will go up to Rs 1.5 trillion in the ongoing fiscal year. The money will be spent to complete the ongoing expansion projects at Jamnagar and the rollout of the telecom network,” RIL Group Deputy Chief Financial Officer V Srikanth told reporters.

Giving a break-up, he said, Rs 50,000-60,000 crore will be needed to complete the ongoing multi-billion dollar expansion at the Jamnagar refinery complex and over Rs 60,000 crore in Reliance Jio. The rest will be spent on other verticals, including around Rs 3,500 crore in the retail arm.

Around $150 million (Rs 1,000 crore) will be pumped into the US shale gas operations as well, Srikanth said, adding comparing the global scale down in capex, this is a decent investment but much below what the company had invested in FY16 at more than $500 million and way below $780 million in FY15.

On how much debt RIL will raise to meet the capex, Srikanth said not much as the company has a good cash balance.

During the March quarter, RIL’s cash balance stood at Rs 86,033 crore, down from Rs 91,736 crore in the December quarter, while its debt rose to Rs 1,81,079 crore from Rs 1,78,07 crore in the October-December period, he said.

On Iran, Srikanth said the company has booked a small consignment of crude and long-term contracts could be thought of only after payment issue has been settled.

Reliance Jio’s Strategy and Planning head Anshuman Thakur said of the over Rs 60,000 crore capex for the telecom vertical, some of the money will be spent on widening the network coverage to 90% as planned.

Coverage at present is at about 70% of the population. RIL has around 90,000 telecom towers now, half of which are operational and owned by the RIL and rest on lease.

Some money, which is yet to be finalised, will have to be paid to RCom as well, he said, but refused to quantify it. The company has already made an advance payment of Rs 2,800 crore to RCom, he added.

Steep fall in oil prices has boosted RIL refining and petrochem margins to a record high of $10.8 a barrel, helping the company post a 16% jump in earnings for the three months to March.

RIL, which operates the world’s largest single-location refinery at Jamnagar with a 30 million tonnes capacity, reported a consolidated net of Rs 7,398 crore or Rs 25.1 a share, up 15.9%.

The GRM outperformed Singapore benchmark by $3.1 a barrel. Standalone net rose 17.25% to Rs 7,320 crore.