Jio Financial Services witnessed a significant surge in its share price, soaring by over 15% to a record high amid reports speculating its interest in acquiring Paytm’s wallet business. The rally pushed Jio Finance shares to an impressive 16.25%, reaching ₹295.00 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Conversely, Paytm’s shares remained locked in a 10% lower circuit, reaching a record low.
One 97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, has engaged in exploratory talks with potential investors for the sale of its wallet business. Notably, Jio Financial Services, an entity under the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries umbrella, and HDFC Bank are purportedly among the primary contenders for acquiring Paytm’s wallet business, as reported by sources.
The talks between Paytm and Jio Financial allegedly initiated in November, while discussions with HDFC Bank commenced just before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank. Facing an existential crisis following the RBI’s directive prohibiting the acceptance of deposits or credits, Paytm is reportedly exploring a bailout plan, wherein Jio may offer to acquire Paytm Payments Bank.
This potential acquisition is viewed as a strategic move by Jio Financial, whose subsidiary, Jio Payments Bank, has undergone re-platforming to introduce digital savings accounts and facilitate bill payments. With a robust network comprising 2,400 business correspondents, Jio Payments Bank has also introduced debit cards. Additionally, Jio has undertaken initiatives such as the pilot launch of the Jio Voice box, UPI-enabled Jio phones, and the implementation of QR codes across its ecosystem.
Despite these developments, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma reassured employees during a virtual town hall, stating that there is nothing to worry about. However, Paytm shares experienced a drastic decline, losing 42% in just three days following the RBI directive.
Jio Financial Services, a demerged arm of Reliance Industries, reported a consolidated net profit of ₹293.82 crore for the quarter ending December, marking a 56% decline from the previous quarter. The company’s consolidated revenue from operations in Q3FY24 also witnessed a sequential slump of 32% to ₹413.61 crore. Jio Financial Services had earlier partnered with BlackRock to establish a joint venture, Jio BlackRock, aimed at delivering tech-enabled access to affordable investment solutions for Indian investors.