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India In-Focus — Shares up; Local oil producers can sell to private companies; Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son

MUMBAI: Indian shares posted modest gains on Thursday led by conglomerate Reliance Industries after billionaire Mukesh Ambani set the stage for a leadership transition at its key units.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.28 percent at 15,843.65, as of 0400 GMT, and the S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.33 percent to 53,201.1.

The rupee stepped back from record lows hit the previous day and was trading at 78.93 per dollar, with the market headed into the final session of the first quarter,

Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, provided the biggest boost to the blue-chip indexes with a 1.4 percent jump. 

India allows local oil producers to sell to private companies

India’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan that would allow local crude producers to sell oil to private companies, a move that would help raise the revenue of state-run producers such as ONGC and Oil India.

The decision would be effective from Oct. 1, and existing conditions to sell crude oil to the government-run companies would be waived, the government said in a statement, adding that exports will not be permitted.

“Companies will now be free to sell crude oil from their fields in the domestic market. Government revenues will continue to be calculated on a uniform basis across all contracts,” the government said.

Ambani hands Reliance telco unit to son 

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has stepped down from the telecoms arm of Reliance Industries, handing the reins to his son Akash and setting the stage for a leadership transition at his energy-to-retail conglomerate.

Mukesh’s 30-year-old son Akash has been appointed chairman of the board of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. Akash was already a non-executive director at the telecoms arm.

Mukesh Ambani, who ranked tenth on the Forbes global billionaire’s list, signaled last year his children would have significant roles in the company, which has grown sixfold in the past decade into a $218 billion empire.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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