Our Bureau

Mumbai, June 17

THE share prices of Reliance group companies moved up today in anticipation of an early resolution of the rift between the Ambani brothers.

The market was abuzz with talk that the brothers were quite close to settling the dispute over the ownership of the group companies.

Brokers and analysts said that firm stock price in leading group companies was an indication that some positive announcement on the issue could be expected soon.

Due to active buying in Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Reliance Energy, the BSE Sensex closed higher on a day when the index was down for most part of the day.

The S&P CNX Nifty closed marginally lower.

But the overall breath of the market was negative with fall in stock prices of four companies for rise in one company stock.

The RIL stock, which touched a 52-week high of Rs 608.40 on the BSE today, closed at Rs 600.85, up 1.7 per cent.

Reliance Energy closed at Rs 591.25, up 0.24 per cent, and IPCL closed at Rs 161.25, up 0.94 per cent.

However, smaller companies in the group such as Reliance Capital and Reliance Industrial & Infrastructure closed lower.

Brokers said that on expectation of some positive announcement soon, overall sentiment in the market was upbeat despite some delay in the monsoon.

"Clarification and all the issues relating to the ownership issue of the group would bring to end the uncertainty which has been there in the market over the past seven months," said a broker.

He added that the stock of Reliance Industries has not done well since then and an end would give a big push to the stock price as the company has been doing well.

"Several FIIs which have come to India this year have not made much purchases of the Reliance stock due to uncertainty; once this happens, there would be huge inflow of funds in the stock and overall market," said a dealer with a foreign broking firm.

The RIL stock has already outperformed the Sensex in the last one week and month.

It has gained 6 per cent and 14.23 per cent in the last one week and month respectively.

In comparison, the Sensex has gained 1.84 per cent and 6.81 per cent during this period.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 18, 2005)
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