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Indian Stocks Rise to Record High

June 20, 2005

BOMBAY, India (AP) _ Indian stocks rose to a record high Monday on weekend news that India’s most powerful business family had settled a months-long dispute by splitting Reliance Group’s diverse businesses between two brothers.

The benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Sensex, rose 1 percent to 6975.88 points, an all-time high. Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd., the group’s flagship petroleum and petrochemicals company, jumped 5 percent.

According to Saturday’s settlement, Reliance Industries Ltd. and IPCL Ltd. will go to Mukesh Ambani, the elder brother and the group’s chairman. Younger brother Anil Ambani will inherit the include telecom, financial services and the electricity business, led by power utility Reliance Energy Ltd.

The group founder, Dhirubhai Ambani, died two years ago without leaving a will, provoking a squabble between the brothers over ownership of the sprawling conglomerate that their father built into India’s largest private enterprise.

The feud became public in November, prompting seven months of speculation about a split in the Reliance group, which has annual sales exceeding $22 billion.

The Sensex’s previous all-time high was 6,954.86 points, which it touched on March 9.

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