Shares of Reliance Industries tanked nearly 5 per cent in morning trade today as the company reported the first drop in quarterly profit in more than two years due to falling refining margins.

As a reaction to weak third quarter numbers announced after market hours on Friday, shares opened on a weak note and fell further to a low of Rs.756, down 4.70 per cent from its previous closing price.

On the National Stock Exchange, RIL fell by 4.72 per cent to Rs. 755.20.

The country’s most-valued firm reported a 13.6 per cent fall in October-December net profit as refining margins fell sharply and reservoir complexity pulled down gas output.

RIL had announced a buyback of shares worth up to Rs. 10,440 crore in what would be largest such programme in the history of the Indian capital market.

Analysts said that besides weak numbers they were also disappointed with the size of the buyback, which represented 3.7 per cent of the company’s equity capital.

RIL had in December, 2004, offered to buyback 10 per cent of its equity at Rs. 570 per share.

The scrip however, later gained some lost ground and was trading at Rs. 769.85, down by 2.96 per cent on the BSE and at Rs. 769.95, lower by 2.86 per cent on the NSE at 10:48 hrs.

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