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Shareholders quitting Reliance

Mumbai, May 19 () : Going by the annual report of Reliance Industries (RIL) it has seen 1,13,490 in the category of investors owning between 1-500 shares dropping out. This comes as a surprise since RIL was the favourite of these small shareholders otherwise known as retail investors.

As per the report, total shareholders declined by 1,16,011 from 35.2 lakh in March 2011 to 34.06 lakh in March 2012, but the shareholder category holding between 501-1,000 shares too saw a drop in numbers by 1,477.

Those holding individually 20,000 shares of the company, quit and came down from 1,900 in March 2011 to 1,788 in March 2012. Reason could be company’s share price was down by 28.6 per cent in the financial year ending March 2012 while it was against a 10.5 per cent drop in the Sensex during the period.Yet another reason is that the gas output from the Krishna- Godavari basin has dropped and in one year its performance is badly hit.

The golden period was when RIL merged with IPCL in 2007 and later Reliance Petroleum merged with RIL in 2009-10 as Reliance Industries. RIL shareholder numbers jumped from 20.04 lakh in March 2006 to 35.6 lakh in March 2010. But now the scenario has changed and it has fallen by 156,039 over the last two years due to a weak performance by the company at the exchanges.

To boost shareholders’ confidence and to arrest the slide, RIL announced an offer to buy back the shares worth Rs 10,440 crore offering a price of up to Rs 870 per share in January 2012. The buy back will be completed between February 1, 2012 and January 19, 2013.

To add to the problem, Ravi Narayan Bastia, the man who is credited with making the biggest gas find of 2002 for Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL), has quit the company due to dropping production from the field which was once described as India’s ‘gas bowl’. Bastia was earlier with state-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) before joining RIL in 1996. ONGC had explored and developed all gas blocks in India before the government introduced the auction system in 1999.