Reliance Jio to raise $2.2bn for Indian 4G launch

20 January 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Reliance Communications, the owner of India’s new 4G network, is to raise $2.2 billion in a rights issue in preparation for the launch of services.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is owned by Reliance Industries, will be issuing 15 billion equity shares of 10 rupees each to the shareholders of the company.

The news follows shortly on an announcement that Reliance Industries and operator Reliance Communications – controlled by the rival Ambani brothers – have agreed to swap and trade spectrum ahead of the 4G launch.

Reliance Jio, which has a nationwide 4G licence, was originally expected to launch its services at the end of 2015, but now observers in India expect services to start in April 2016.

The share issue will be open to all existing shareholders, the company said in a stock exchange announcement. According to the Financial Times, it is India’s second largest share issue on record.