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Reliance Group to exit telecom to lower debt

Reliance group will exit the telecom business completely, and will now primarily focus on resolving its debt, which stands at over Rs 40,000 crore, its chairman Anil Ambani announced at the company’s annual general meeting. Ambani said that he is confident of getting a resolution in the near future, and the sale of company’s assets to Reliance Jio are at an advanced stage. The transaction will reportedly earn the company around Rs 25,000 crores. “We have decided that we will not proceed in this sector.... As we have moved out of the mobile sector, we will monetise at an appropriate stage our enterprise business,” Ambani said. The firm also plans to monetize its submarine cable unit Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), which reportedly owns about 69,000 route km of sub-sea cables and the largest data centre in the country. Going forward, the company will primarily focus on developing its real estate business, Ambani said. According to Ambani, the telecom industry was ‘creatively destroyed’ due to high pricing by some operators and predatory pricing by others. Consequently, many small operators exited the sector and  telecom industry grew a collective debt of more than Rs. 7.7-lakh-crore, with more than 20 lakh job losses in the last two years, he added.

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