Reliance says Saudi SWF to invest $1.49B in Jio

Reliance says Saudi SWF to invest $1.49B in Jio
Reliance says Saudi SWF to invest $1.49B in Jio

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) will buy a 2.32 per cent stake in Reliance Industries' digital unit Jio Platforms for Rs113.67 billion ($1.49 billion), the Indian conglomerate said on Thursday.

The deal with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund means Reliance has now sold 24.7 per cent of Jio Platforms and raised just over $15 billion from investors including .

The investment gives Jio Platforms - which comprises telecoms venture Jio Infocomm and music, movie apps - an enterprise value of Rs5.16 trillion, Reliance said in a statement.

"We believe that the potential of the Indian digital economy is very exciting and that Jio Platforms provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain access to that growth," PIF governor Yasir Al Rumayyan said in the statement.

The PIF, which manages more than $300 billion in assets, invested $7.7 billion in global equities in the first quarter.

The PIF has been interested in technology and has stakes in Uber Technologies and a $45 billion allocation to SoftBank's Vision Fund.

The Jio Platforms deals, along with a $7 billion share sale, will help Reliance meet its target of paying off $21.4 billion of net debt by the end of the year, according to the company.

Reliance, controlled by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, disrupted the country's telecoms sector by launching Jio Infocomm in late 2016 with free voice and cut-price data.

Jio forced many rivals out of business and drove consolidation in the sector.

Ambani has always pitched Jio as a tech company rather than a traditional telecoms player.

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