State-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) toppled Reliance Industries as the country's most valued company, ending billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant's over four-year rein at the top of the market valuation charts.

With an over two per cent gain in its share price on Wednesday, the public sector coal giant achieved a market value of Rs. 2,51,296 crore, which was over Rs. 4,000 crore more than that of private sector energy giant Reliance Industries (RIL).

RIL shares ended marginally down by 0.55 per cent at Rs. 754.80 commanding a market valuation of Rs. 2,47,129 crore at the end of Wednesday's trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Interestingly, RIL had toppled state-run ONGC over four years ago to become the country's most valued firm, and now it has been overtaken by another public sector major as the biggest company in terms of market valuation.

ONGC is the country's third most valued company at present with a market capitalisation of Rs. 2,37,200 crore.

Coal India's market value exceeded that of Reliance Industries for the first time at around mid-day by about Rs. 200 crore and it further extended its lead during the rest of the trading session.

At noon on the National Stock Exchange, CIL commanded a market capitalisation of Rs. 2,50,759.67 crore with an over two per cent rise in its share price.

At that time, RIL had a market cap of Rs.2,50,580.21 crore.

A few minutes later, CIL's market valuation exceeded that of RIL on the BSE also. RIL's market cap stood at Rs. 2,50,468 crore, slightly lower than CIL's Rs. 2,50,538 crore.

At the end of Wednesday's trading, the gap was much higher at Rs. 4,167 crore.

Our Kolkata Special Correspondent writes:

CIL Chairman N. C. Jha said that the company would strive to maintain the top position that it bagged in the stock market on Wednesday by becoming India's highest valued listed company.

Talking to this correspondent he said “I am happy at this development. The credit goes to the 3.8 lakh employees of CIL but we will all have to work hard to maintain this position.”

Mr. Jha said that the challenges before the company were many with land acquisition, forest and environmental clearances being the biggest issues. “Starting new projects is a big headache for us”, he said adding that the challenge would have to be surmounted and volume growth had to be maintained. CIL's Director, Finance, A. K. Sinha, said that production was expected to grow by 4.5 per cent this year after a year of flat growth in 2010-11.

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