What peace means
For India's till recently warring billionaire Ambani brothers, peace means competition.
Freed from a pact that prevented him from going head-to-head with younger brother Anil, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries can now invest wherever he sees opportunity, with financial services, power and infrastructure on his target list.
After five years of a bitter feud that split India's richest family, held government energy policy hostage and discouraged foreign investment in oil and gas, Mukesh and Anil unexpectedly called a truce on Sunday by ending a non-competition agreement that was a source of acrimony between them.
After their father, Dhirubhai, died in 2002 without leaving a clear will, the brothers split the inherited business in a 2005 deal brokered by their mother, Kokilaben, and some of India's top bankers.
Shares in conglomerate Reliance Industries and the listed firms in Anil's Reliance ADA Group surged on Monday on expectations the brothers, who have a combined worth estimated at $43 billion, will move beyond the dispute that has been a costly distraction since they carved up their father's business empire.
The shares retreated on Tuesday in a weak broader market.
While the two groups spoke hopefully of harmony and cooperation, they are unlikely to invest together anytime soon given the recent bad blood, said a person familiar with the matter who declined to be identified.
Still, Mukesh's well-connected and ubiquitous Reliance Industries, which has been seeking global acquisitions for growth, can now invest freely in an economy poised to grow at 9 percent and which offers better long-term prospects than can be found overseas.
Besides power and financial services, Mukesh, the world's fourth-richest man is eyeing infrastructure such as roads, the source said.
Image: Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani (right) and his brother Anil Ambani (left) observe two-minute silence in memory of their late father Dhirubai Ambani in Mumbai.
Text: Reuters | Images Courtesy: AFP (Any unauthorised reproduction is strictly prohibited)