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Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

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Mukesh clarifies on `ownership issues'

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 22

THE Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mr Mukesh Ambani, on Monday sought to quell the storm of speculation stirred up by his statement last week that that there were "ownership issues" in the corporate group. He issued a clarification saying his remarks were "torn out of context."

"Dhirubhai Ambani has settled all ownership issues pertaining to Reliance within his lifetime," said Mr Ambani.

Although this statement has somewhat quelled the uncertainty in the stock markets, doubts among investors continue.

They feel that Mr Ambani's clarification can still be interpreted in various ways.

Mr Ambani has said all ownership issues are in the private domain; he has also said his reply has nothing to do with the family ownership in Reliance.

If ownership issues were to be settled through a division of shares of individual companies among the Ambani family, it would have mattered little to investors, but what if any settlement were to lead to carving up of the group businesses among the family members?

Or can his statement, that ownership issues are to do with the group's future businesses only, be taken at face value?

These are the questions that are doing the rounds amongst investors.

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