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Jio Financial Services Seeks to Enter Telecom Leasing Business

Jio app

India-based Jio Financial Services is looking to go into the device leasing business.

The financial services provider published a postal ballot notice saying it is seeking shareholder approval to acquire 360 billion rupees ($4.33 billion) worth of telecom equipment and devices from the retail arm of Reliance Industries, Reuters reported Monday (May 27).

These devices include routers and cell phones, according to the report.

A Jio Financial Services subsidiary will rent out this equipment to customers of Reliance’s telecommunications arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm, and will compete with Hewlett Packard, Lenovo and other firms in the device-rental market, the report said.

The voting on this proposal will end on June 22, per the report.

Jio Financial Services spun out of the Reliance Group in 2023, according to the report.

Reliance Industries, which also has operations in retail, oil and textiles, listed Jio Financial Services, its digital financial services unit, to give investors a chance to focus on FinTechs in general and digital lending in particular.

The move came about a year after the head of the multinational conglomerate, billionaire Mukesh Ambani, said that the firm would tackle the spinoff and that Jio Financial Services would operate as “a technology-led business, delivering financial products digitally by leveraging the nationwide omni-channel presence of Reliance’s consumer businesses.”

In another recent move, Jio Financial Services said in April that it launched a joint venture with BlackRock in which the two companies will establish a wealth management and brokering business in India.

The companies had begun an asset management venture less than a year earlier. By creating a brokerage firm, they hope to woo the growing number of Indian retail investors as that country’s stock market hits historic highs.

As for Reliance, its Reliance Retail unit said in October 2023 that it partnered with SBI Card to launch a credit card on India’s RuPay payment network.

The co-branded card marks Reliance’s entry into the credit card space and aims to entice customers to rewards at Reliance Retail’s 18,650 stores.

The card was announced at a time when credit card spending had boomed and cards in the RuPay network had jumped nearly 20% year over year.