Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund buys 2.04% stake in Reliance Retail Ventures

Dubai (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has bought a 2.04% stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Limited for about $1.3 billion, the sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday.

Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) is the retail arm of Reliance Industries’, the Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate.

The PIF said the investment would strengthen the fund’s presence in the Indian economy and retail market.

“The investment in RRVL follows an earlier acquisition of a 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms, the digital services subsidiary of Reliance Industries,” PIF said in a statement.

PIF bought the stake in Reliance’s Jio Platforms – which comprises telecoms venture Jio Infocomm and music and movie apps – in June for nearly $1.5 billion.

Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, has approached investors to take stakes in its retail business. Reliance has already raised around $20 billion from global investors by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business.

RRVL has nearly 12,000 stores and sells everything from groceries and electronics to fashion and shoes.

Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala said last month it would invest 62.48 billion rupees ($843.45 million) in RRVL.

PIF Governor Yasir Rumayyan said in the statement the investment demonstrated the fund’s commitment to investing for the long-term with innovative businesses around the world and also its commitment to driving the economic diversification of Saudi Arabia.