Reliance Group clears debt of Rs 35,000 crores in the last 14 months

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Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani on Tuesday said that the Group has cleared debt amounting to a staggering Rs 35,000 crore in the last 14 months.

“The Reliance Group has made aggregate debt servicing payments of over Rs. 35,000 crores in the 14 month period from April 1, 2018, till May 31, 2019. These comprise principal repayments of Rs. 24,800 crore and interest payments of Rs. 10,600 crore,” a release quoting Ambani said.

He said this amount included inter alia debt servicing payments by Reliance Capital Group, Reliance Power group and Reliance Infra Group, and their respective affiliates.

Ambani said these payments have been made in the face of “insurmountable odds and the most challenging financial environment witnessed in the country in decades”.

He pointed out that during this entire period, lenders from all categories – whether banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, provident funds or NBFCs (non-banking financial companies) – have provided “ZERO net additional liquidity or debt to any entity of the Reliance Group”.

“To compound matters, the regulatory bodies and courts have not passed any final adjudication orders on claims aggregating to over Rs. 30,000 crores that are due for more than 5-10 years to various Group companies, especially Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. and Reliance Power Ltd., and their affiliates,” he said.

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The final decisions have “only been inordinately and repeatedly delayed for one reason or the other”, the Group chairman said.

Ambani disclosed that the debt servicing payments of the staggering amount of over Rs. 35,000 crores have necessarily had to be made almost entirely from asset monetisation (despite a liquidity-starved environment), and operational cash flows (in an operating environment beset by procedural and regulatory hurdles).

He reaffirmed that the Group was fully committed to meeting all future debt servicing obligations in a timely manner, through further asset monetisation plans that are already at various stages of implementation.

He also said that “unwarranted rumour mongering, speculation, and bear hammering” of all Reliance Group companies shares over the last few weeks, “has caused grave damage to all our stakeholders”.

Ambani said that he was personally anguished and deeply concerned for the Group’s over 7 million-strong retail shareholders base, perhaps the largest in the world. “Their unstinted support is the bedrock of the young and dynamic group,” he said.

The Group chairman said, “It was heartening for him personally, that over the past 12 months, retail shareholding across all companies remained uneroded and consistent, cementing his belief of the strong support and good wishes of all shareholders for the Reliance Group.”

He expressed confidence that “the journey was undertaken to transform the Group to be capital light, with bare minimal debt, and a higher return on equity, will enhance the value of all Reliance Group shareholders”.

(with inputs from ANI)

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