Cash-rich Reliance Industries, whose stock price has been battered over the past year, will consider a share buyback on Friday, the company said, sending its shares up as much as 4 per cent in early trade.
Reliance, an energy focused conglomerate controlled by Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, saw its share price tumble 35 per cent in 2011, helping drag the benchmark Sensex down 25 per cent for the year, making India one of the worst-performing markets anywhere.
This was not completely unexpected, as there was a feeling that if the stock was impacted to this extent, the company would move to buy up shares, said Deven Choksey, chief executive officer and managing director of K R Choksey Shares & Securities.
The shares are very attractive at current levels, and when there is a chance to make 20 per cent return on their capital, Reliance don't miss that kind of opportunity, he said.
Reliance, which has been using cash to make acquisitions and expand beyond its core energy and refining business, is India's most valuable listed company. It's last share buyback was in 2005.
Reliance had cash and cash equivalents of 614.9 billion rupees ($12.15 billion) as of the end of September.
The stock has been weighed down by worries about slowing output at the company's offshore gas fields.
Controlling shareholders in Reliance own 44.71 per cent of the stock, according to the Bombay Stock Exchange.