UBS reiterates sell on Reliance Industries shares; price target Rs 1,070/share

Reliance Industries, which witnessed a robust growth in earnings from its petrochemical business, is unlikely to see further improvement in profitability from the business, presenting a downside risk to consensus earnings, brokerage UBS said in a note Thursday.

The brokerage reiterated its sell rating on the shares, with a one-year price target of Rs 1,070 a share, which is almost 5% lower than its close of Rs 1,123.45 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Reliance Industries petrochemicals earnings in the first half of 2018-19 expanded largely due to stronger polyester chain.

“RIL has expanded its petrochemical EBIT in H1FY19 to Rs 160 billion driven by higher polyester chain margins, capacity expansion and feed stock diversification in polymers to ethane. However, in last few weeks polyester chain spreads have faded despite weakness in naphtha prices,” UBS said.

The brokerage said that demand for polyester from China is expected to slow down. But polymers, despite 20% decline in India polyethylene (PE) prices, spreads over naphtha have started to recover due to decline in naphtha prices.

“RIL the feed stock diversification to ethane would keep them away from these benefits as almost half of RIL's PE output now uses ethane as feedstock. We believe that RIL's petchem profitability is unlikely to improve further quarter-on-quarter as consensus expects, presenting a downside risk to consensus earnings. We reiterate sell on RIL,” UBS said.

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