Mukesh Ambani has plans to expand his horizons in the telecommunications business through his firm Jio Platforms, expressing interest in buying stake in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, the state-owned telecom company of the neighboring country.

Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani. (AFP)

The Sri Lankan government has been struggling with the cash-strapped Telecom PLC, as current authorities continue to push for privatisation of many sectors to revive the economy amid the recent financial crisis.

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Colombo had invited applications from potential bidders for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC by November 10, and Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms was one of three companies that expressed interest in buying the stake of the firm, reported Moneycontrol.

The Sri Lankan government on January 12 issued a press release where it named Jio Platforms as one of the potential bidders for their government telecom company. Apart from Jio, the other two companies in the running are Gortune International Investment Holding Ltd and Pettigo Comercio International LDA.

The press release further said that the proposals by the company will be “evaluated as per the Special Guidelines on Divestiture of State-Owned Enterprises approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.”

Sri Lanka has been mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to push for the privatisation of all the non-core sectors in the country, in order to pull the Sri Lanka out of the deep cash shortage that triggered the anti-government protests in 2022.

Jio Platforms leads in India

With the Sri Lankan investment, Reliance’s Jio Platform is hoping to enter and dominate the global telecom market. Currently, Jio is market leader among all Indian telecom service providers.

Latest figures released by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed that Jio added 31.59 lakh mobile users in October 2023, significantly more that top competitor Bharti Airtel.

Recently, Reliance and Jio shares rallied on the stock market after Mukesh Ambani’s investment announcements at Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2024 in Gandhinagar last week. The jump in shares led to Mukesh Ambani reclaiming the spot of the richest person in Asia.

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