Reliance Industries shares saw their biggest intraday rise in more than a decade on Tuesday, after the company set a target to reach zero net debt in 18 months and vowed to reward shareholders with higher dividends and periodic bonus issues.
The announcements drove Reliance shares up as much as 12% — its biggest such move since Jan. 14, 2009. The spike has put the company within touching distance of becoming the highest-valued Indian company again. Currently, it trails Tata Consultancy Services by slightly more than $1 billion.
Its plans to launch JioFiber broadband services threaten to upend India’s telecom market with offers of free voice calls for life, television and movie streaming and even free TV sets to go with some subscription plans.
Analysts at Kotak Institutional Securities said Reliance “hit all the right chords” with its announcements and upgraded the stock to “Buy” from “Sell.”
Shares of telecom majors Bharti Airtel fell almost 7% before recouping some losses, while Vodafone Idea slid as much as 10% as the announcements spurred worries of a repeat of what happened just three years ago when Reliance’s telecom upstart, Jio, burst onto the scene.