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Anil Ambani Says Reliance Committed to Meet All Debt Obligation

Seeking to allay investor concerns after stocks of his group firms took a beating on the bourses, Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani on Tuesday, 11 June, said his group is committed to meeting all payment obligations in a timely manner and has already serviced debt worth Rs 35,000 crore in last 14 months.

In a conference call with reporters, he said despite challenging conditions and no financial support from financiers, the group has repaid the principal of Rs 24,800 crore and made interest payments of Rs 10,600 crore between 1 April 2018, and 31 May 2019.

"“Unwarranted rumour mongering, speculation, and bear hammering of all Reliance Group companies shares over the last few weeks, has caused grave damage to all our stakeholders.” " - Anil Ambani

The Rs 35,000 crore worth of payments made relates to debt of Reliance Capital, Reliance Power and Reliance Infra, and their respective affiliates.

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Ambani sought to reassure investors that the Group was fully committed to meeting all future debt servicing obligations in a timely manner through further asset monetisation plans that are already at various stages of implementation.

Blaming regulatory institutions and courts for some of the group problems, he said the delay in passing verdicts has kept the group from receiving dues of over Rs 30,000 crore.

"To compound the matter, the regulatory bodies and courts have not passed any final adjudication order on claims aggregating to over Rs 30,000 crore that is due for more than five to 10 years to our various group companies especially Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power and their affiliates," he said adding "final decisions have only been inordinately and repeatedly delayed for one reason or the other."

He said that the financial system has shown a "total apathy and lack of any support whatsoever", which ultimately only significantly hurt the interests of lenders themselves as well as all other stakeholders.

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Stating that Rs 35,000 crore of payments were made in the face of "insurmountable odds and the most challenging financial environment", he said during the 14 month period, lenders from all categories - banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, provident funds or NBFCs - provided no additional liquidity or debt to any entity of the Reliance Group.

Ambani said the debt servicing payments of over Rs 35,000 crore had to be made almost entirely from asset monetisation (despite a liquidity-starved environment), and operational cash flows (in an operating environment beset by procedural and regulatory hurdles).

"The continuing total apathy and lack of any support whatsoever from the financial system" ultimately ‘hurt’ the interests of lenders themselves as well as all other stakeholders, he said.

He expressed confidence that the journey undertaken to transform the Group to be capital light, bare minimal debt, and a higher return on equity, will enhance value for all shareholders.

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