Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, lost as much as $5 billion from his net worth as Reliance Industries Ltd.’s shares tumbled to the lowest price in more than three months following a drop in quarterly profit.
The stock of India’s most-valuable company fell as much as 6.8% in Mumbai on Monday as of 12:21 p.m., slipping the most since May 12 and touching the lowest since July 20. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex only declined as much as 0.7%. The slide also shaved down Ambani’s wealth to about $73 billion to mark his worst day since March, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The refining-to-retail conglomerate reported a 15% decline in quarterly profit to 95.7 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) late on Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic hit fuel demand. Revenue fell 24% to 1.16 trillion rupees.
Reliance’s oil refining unit has suffered a plunge in demand for transportation fuels, with Covid-19 forcing people to stay home. The conglomerate is in the midst of a transformation led by Ambani, 63, as he looks to turn the oil-and-petrochemicals giant into a technology and digital services company by bolstering its telecom and e-commerce businesses.
Reliance’s gross refining margin or profit from refining a barrel of crude oil into fuels fell to $5.7 per barrel in the latest quarter compared with $9.4 a year earlier, the company said. Meanwhile, the profit at its telecom business under Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. nearly tripled over the same period.
Reliance shares have rallied about 29% this year, while Sensex has slipped 4%, as investors cheered Ambani’s fundraising spree that saw Reliance mop over $25 billion by selling stakes in its digital and retail units. The jump also triggered one of the biggest wealth surges as Ambani amassed $19.1 billion in 2020 through Friday, becoming the world’s sixth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.