Reliance Petroleum creates waves on Indian stock exchange debut

MUMBAI, May 11, 2006 (AFP) – Reliance Petroleum shares jumped almost 70 percent on listing Thursday as investors rushed to buy a piece of the company operating what will be the world’s largest refinery complex, dealers said. Reliance Petroleum, a unit of India’s largest private company, Reliance Industries, opened at 101.95 rupees (2.66 dollars), compared to the Initial Public Offer (IPO) price of 60 rupees.

It then fell back to around 87 rupees in early trade while the benchmark 30-share Sensex index was down 53.23 points or 0.42 percent to 12,559.15.

Reliance Petroleum listed on the Mumbai and National stock exchanges to raise funds for its planned six-billion dollar, 580,000 barrels-a-day refinery in India’s western state of Gujarat.

The refinery, to be financed as well with investment from US-based ChevronTexaco and internal funds, will be located next to an existing refinery to make the combined complex the largest in the world when completed in 2008.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, banged a gong at Mumbai’s stock exchange to launch the new listing. “This is a historic moment for us as it’s Reliance’s first (initial public offering) in 14 years and marks India’s presence in the energy spac