No more Sun rise; Mukesh Ambani buys the Sensex

April 01, 2015 03:33 PM

Dilip Shanghvi was hit with a 28000-point thunderbolt at 00:01 am Wednesday.

With Sun Pharma's shares soaring 75.25% in the previous fiscal year and with Shanghvi pipping Mukesh Ambani as the richest Indian on paper, the Reliance owner decided to use his real wealth - his petro billions - to pull off a major coup.

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the rest of the Sensex was sleeping, the elder Ambani brother engineered a deal that now makes Asia's oldest bourse a part of the Reliance family.

With the inking of the surprise agreement, a Gujarati is now firmly at the helm of the Sensex, 260 years after it began life modestly under a banyan tree in front of Mumbai's Town Hall, where four Gujaratis and a Parsi trader would gather.

Sources in the know say that his wife Nita Ambani will also co-own the Sensex, whose indices will continue to be run by S&P (Standard and Poor's). 

Nita will bring her considerable expertise in running the Mumbai Indians' IPL franchise and their cheerleading team to the table, they observed.

The new CEO will be Deepak Mohoni, the IIT-IIM-trained stock analyst from Pune who coined the term Sensex in 1989, when the BSE Sensitive Index, as it was then known, was at around 750 points. 

He is widely expected to reveal why he settled on this name of all names in his much-awaited maiden press conference, where he will be joined by R Jagannathan, the editor who cleared the coinage in "five minutes", according to Mohoni. 

Jaggi, as he is popular these days, is also a member of the Reliance family now in his role as Editor-in-chief of the Network 18 publications.

Ambani made the late-night swoop, our sources say, after growing tired of seeing the RIL stock being beaten black and blue on the Sensex in the past one year, a year that also saw crude prices heading southward.

The happiness, success and limelight of owning the Mumbai Indians at IPL provided to him, his wife Nita and their three children was another trigger. The example of current ICC chairman N Srinivasan, who ran the BCCI and owned the Chennai Super Kings, also proved a huge inspiration.

"It gave Mukesh bhai, as they say, the big idea," the sources told 

"What traders needed was faith, the faith that in this choppy world economy, the Sensex shall continue to sail ahead proudly and smoothly. They needed someone whom they could rely on, who could provide them with Reliance. Enter Mukesh bhai," they elaborated.
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