The proposed sale by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) of a 20 per cent stake in its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business to Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco will reduce RIL's debt leverage which is a credit positive, Moody's Investors Service said on Wednesday.
In addition, RIL has announced it will sell a 49 per cent stake in its fuel marketing business in India to BP plc for $1 billion.
"The stake sales are in line with RIL's commitment to reduce its net debt to zero by March 2021 and reflect its commitment to maintaining a strong financial profile despite significant capital spending over the last five years," said Vikas Halan, Moody's senior vice president.
Moody's estimates that the two transactions together will reduce RIL's net debt by $16 billion dollars and lower its leverage -- as measured by net debt/EBITDA -- by 1.2 times from 3.2 times for the fiscal year ending March 2019.
The two transactions follow the sale of its telecommunications tower business last month to Brookfield Asset Management Inc for Rs 25,200 crore.
The company has also transferred its optical fibre assets to an infrastructure investment trust and expects to complete the sale of those assets to a strategic investor by March 2020.
Further, the company announced its intention to sell stakes in its digital services and retail businesses to strategic investors, and also monetise some of its real estate and financial assets.