Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Reliance Power plans IPO

AFP , NEW DELHI

India's Reliance Power Ltd is planning an initial public offering to raise as much as US$3.5 billion, which would be the country's biggest ever initial public offering (IPO), reports said yesterday.

The IPO would be to raise money to develop mega power projects, India's Mint business paper and the Economic Times said.

Reliance Power, a unit of the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed Reliance Energy Ltd, was expected to file the prospectus with market authorities next week, Mint reported, quoting two people close to the plan.

Reliance Energy, led by billionaire businessman Anil Ambani, declined to comment on what the company called "market speculation," the newspapers said.

Reliance Power, part of the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, has been valued at around US$11 billion.

Reliance Power aims to sell shares equivalent to a 15 percent to 30 percent stake in the company, the reports said.

Reliance Power won rights to develop a 4,000 megawatt mega power project at Sasan in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in June. Its parent, Reliance Energy, is building a 1,200 megawatt power plant at Rosa in northern Uttar Pradesh state.

Reports of the IPO drove Reliance Energy Ltd shares up 7.9 percent to 1,205.50 rupees (US$30.33) on Friday.

Separately, Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday told investors "to do their homework" before investing in the domestic share market that has raced to new highs on the back of overseas fund flows.

The advice came as the benchmark Sensex index of the Mumbai stock exchange climbed 140.54 points, or 0.82 percent, to a record 17,291.1, beating the previous best of 17,150.56 on Thursday.

The index has set new highs on eight successive trading days.

"My advice to investors is that they should do their homework," Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi.

"And if they cannot do their homework, they should trust those who do their homework," he said in an apparent reference to investment advisers. "And for speculators, I have no advice."

Chidambaram's comments came a day after Indian Corporate Affairs Minister P.C. Gupta urged investors to be sensible.

The Sensex has gained 10 percent since the US Federal Reserve cut rates more than a week ago.

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