Friday, October 23, 2009

Reliance Industries and Hardy Oil

Way back in June 2009, Hardy Oil released a report quoting gross risked best estimates for D3 and D9, which meant a quadrupling of India's gas production base in the next 5 years.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said these claims were not approved by the regulator and Hardy should not have made such a report public without an approval from the DGH.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has said that Hardy Oil has gone out of its way to release these estimates and perhaps there is a hidden motive behind it.

The Hardy stock spiked 30% in London!!!

SP Tulsian a leading analyst on Reliance, mentioned "Coming on the gas front, they have started the production, couple of day’s back we had a new that they made more new discoveries. Right now they are producing gas from D6. They made new discoveries in D3 and D9 also which is almost double the estimate of the D6 blocks. So one can imagine the growth coming in from the gas production, maybe the enhance refinery production and they will start making the marketing in the domestic front. Maybe for FY10 they will have EPS of Rs 140 which can keep going up to Rs 200 for FY11. If one can hold it for the next year, maybe till March 10 he/she can expect a price of Rs 3000 of the stock."

Sometime end of October SEBI too got into the act.

Four weeks ago, at the beginning of this month the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons wrote to the Sebi Chairman saying that it suspected unethical disclosures by Hardy Oil which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It actually went ahead and alleged that these disclosures were being made in an inappropriate manner to influence share prices. Now what we understand from our sources is that Sebi is going to take up this issue with the UK regulator to find out if at all any norms of disclosures have been violated by Hardy Oil.  

The entire imbroglio got mired in clarity of global regulatory norms for JVs etc and was forgotten.

Back to the markets today.
Again, Hardy Oil makes a dud disclosure on one of the wells in D9 and the Nifty tanks along with Reliance Industries.

On a day when Europe had opened strong and the Dow had closed earlier on a strong note on good results, Hardy tanked 36% on the London Stock Exchange.  Reliance tanks 4% on the Indian exchanges.

Mind you, the entire jingbang on the Hardy board as well as the CEO, COO, CFO are all Indians!!!  Hardy holds 10% stake in KG D3/6/9 while RIL  holds 90%.  While Reliance can conveniently throw its hands in the air and say that they have not made any disclosures and it was the joint venture partner that did so in London, a whole host of doubts arise in the retail investors mind with respect to insider trading!!!

Where does this leave the retail investor?  Nowhere!!!  Probably insiders in both RIL and Hardys are making hay while retail investors sweat their pockets out.

As I mentioned, way back we have laughed our guts out watching Laurel and Hardy movies.  This Hardy was too much to digest!!!

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