Shareholders question Ambani on loss- making media biz
RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani had to face a barrage of questions from the shareholders on Friday, mainly on the plunging price of the bellwether stock and on the loss-making media business, among others.
The shareholders were equally upset with Reliance Industries’ increasing focus on non-core areas (media, retail, telecom that have been cash guzzlers for the past three years with no operations) and its reluctance to pay dividends even as it sits over Rs 2.14 trillion in cash reserves, according to one shareholder. Besides, the company has Rs 84,000 crore in cash piles, which is over 60 times its paid-up equity capital. Meanwhile, the 41st annual general meeting of the country’s largest private sector corporate here today also marked the formal presence of Nita Ambani, the wife of Mukesh Ambani and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, as she was recently inducted into the company’s board as an independent director to meet the regulatory demand.
The AGM was also conspicuous by the absence of Ambani’s mother Kokilaben Ambani. Most of the nearly 50 shareholders who spoke at the AGM were worried over the steep fall in the price of RIL share.