Institutional holding in RIL at 7-year high

Institutional investors have hiked their holding in Reliance Industries (RIL) to nearly 29% — the highest in about seven years — as LIC and foreign funds stocked up shares worth R1,000 crore in the last quarter. Domestic and foreign institutional investors together hold 28.69% stake in Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, which is their highest level of shareholding since March 2006, when it was 28.85%.

At the same time, non-institutional shareholders, including retail investors and HNIs, have gradually trimmed their positions in RIL, show its shareholding data.

At the end of December 2012, non-institutions controlled 22.55% stake in Reliance Industries. This is the lowest level of holding in RIL shares for this class of investors, especially retail ones, since June 2009.

Analysts said institutions could be betting on a turnaround in RIL shares that have remained mostly range-bound between R700-900 apiece for many months now, even as the benchmark indices are fast approaching their record high levels. During the last quarter ended December 31, 2012, the country's biggest institutional investor and state-run insurer LIC hiked its stake in RIL to almost 8% with purchase of shares worth an estimated R808 crore.

During the same period, FIIs cumulatively bought shares worth R200 crore to up their stake to 17.79% as on December 31, 2012. Other major institutional shareholders in the company include Franklin Templeton (1.26%) and government of Singapore (1.23%).

Promoters have a 45.34% stake in RIL, while insurance companies control 8.79% and mutual funds 1.88% in the company.

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