Monday, November 29, 1999

Mukesh Ambani seeks constructive ties with Anil`s firm

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Mukesh Ambani, chairman of energy major Reliance Industries, said the firm is ready to provide gas to power plants controlled by his brother Anil Ambani's Reliance ADAG and looks forward to a "harmonious and constructive" relationship with the company.In May, Mukesh Ambani won a Supreme Court ruling in a gas pricing dispute with Anil that had embroiled New Delhi and ultimately brought the long-estranged brothers to the negotiating table.Mukesh Ambani, the world's fourth-richest man, was addressing his firm's annual shareholders meeting on Friday, with expectations high that he would unveil several expansion plans.Reliance shares, which have the highest weighting in the main index, were up 0.5 percent by 0606 GMT in a Mumbai market that was up 0.1 percent. The stock had risen as much as 1.7 percent in early trade.Expectations that Reliance will enter sectors as diverse as power, telecoms and healthcare have been rampant since Mukesh Ambani last month ended an agreement with Anil that prevented them from competing on each others' turf.Exactly five years ago, the two brothers split the business empire founded by their father after disagreements over ownership, and the non-compete agreement had been a source of acrimony between the two.The Times of India reported on Friday that Reliance was in advanced talks to buy fibre optic cables and telecoms tower business from mobile operator Reliance Communications, controlled by Anil.Reliance may also buy a 26 percent stake in shipbuilder Pipavav Shipyard, the Economic Times reported on Friday.(Reporting by Pratish Narayanan and Prashant Mehra; additional reporting by Ami Shah; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)
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