Mumbai: State-run Coal India on Wednesday toppled Reliance Industries as the country's most valued company, ending billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant's over four-year reign at the top of the market valuation charts.

With an over two per cent gain in its share price, the public sector coal giant on Wednesday 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 Ltd (RIL).

RIL shares ended marginally down by 0.55 per cent, commanding a market valuation of Rs 2,47,129 crore at the end of today's trade at 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.

A company's market capitalisation is determined by multiplying its share price with total number of shares.

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

At around 1200 hrs at National Stock Exchange, CIL commanded a market cap of Rs 2,50,759.67 crore with an over 2 per cent rise in its share price. At that time, RIL had a market cap of 2,50,580.21 crore at NSE.

A few minutes later, CIL's market valuation exceeded that of RIL at BSE also. At around 1206 hrs, RIL's market cap in BSE trade 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.

Attributing the recognition of Coal India as the number one company on the bourses to its 3.82 lakh employees, its Chairman N C Jha said: "It has happened due to extensive efforts of all Coal Indians, who have been engaged in coal mining day and night."

Coal India shares closed 2.64 per cent higher at Rs 397.85, after scaling intra-day high of Rs 399 at BSE.

RIL was also trading with gains earlier in the day, but could not sustain at higher levels and closed 0.55 per cent down at Rs 754.80.

CIL has been closing the gap on RIL in terms of market valuation over the past few days and the gap has slipped below 1 per cent on August 9.

However, RIL has extended its lead by some margin since then, but PSU coal giant managed to topple the private sector energy giant in today's trade.

At Tuesday’s close, RIL had a market cap of Rs 2,48,504.44 crore, as against CIL's 244,822.28 crore.

At the time of Wednesday's market opening, RIL had a higher market cap of Rs 2,49,454 crore than CIL's Rs 2,44,822 crore.

ONGC had also come very close to toppling RIL as the country's most valued firm last week, but lost ground in past few trading sessions. The stock, however, bounced back on Wednesday with a rise of 1.56 per cent to Rs 277.25.

RIL had first toppled ONGC as the country's most valued firm way back in late 2006, but the state-run energy giant reclaimed its top position, but only for a brief period. RIL managed to stay on the top since February 2007.

Since then, ONGC had mostly been the country's second most valued firm after RIL, but was pushed to third position by Coal India in May this year.

After a gap of about two months, ONGC again pipped past Coal India about a month ago to become the country's second most valued firm and the most valued PSU. But weakness in ONGC shares again brought the company below Coal India in market valuation charts in the past few days.

Shares of Coal India have shown a remarkable surge ever since its listing on November 4, 2010. The company had raised over Rs 15,000 crore through its IPO, which gave it a market valuation of over Rs 1,50,000 crore. On the first trading day itself, its market value surged past Rs 2,00,000 crore.

Marketmen would be keenly watching the three stocks, Coal India, RIL and ONGC, to see whether RIL is able to regain its lead or loses further ground in the market-cap charts.

RIL shares have been under pressure in the recent past, while ONGC and CIL have managed to outperform in a weak market on several occasions in past few days.

Coal India, RIL and ONGC are followed by TCS, ITC, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Infosys, SBI and HDFC Bank as the country's ten most valued companies.

While the top-three command a market cap in excess of Rs two lakh crore each, the remaining carry valuations of more than Rs one lakh crore each.

CIL aims to be No 1 in terms of revenue too

The state-run Coal India said it is aiming to become number one company of the country in the near future in terms of revenue as well.

"We have already become number one public sector company and now we are working on becoming number one firm in the country, profit and turnover wise as well. It is just a matter of some years," Coal India Chairman N C Jha said.

At Wednesday's close, the Maharatna firm had a market capitalisation of Rs 2,51,296 crore on the Bombay Stock Exchange and ahead of erstwhile leader RIL marginally by Rs 4,167 crore. It's shares closed 2.64 per cent up on the BSE at Rs 397.70 apiece.

Attributing the recognition of the Maharatna firm as the number one company on the bourses to its 3.82 lakh employees, Jha said, "It has happened due to extensive efforts of all Coal Indians, who have been engaged in coal mining day and night."

The Maharatna company, incorporated in 1973 in Kolkata, had reported a 64 per cent growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 4,143 crore during the first quarter of this
fiscal vis-a-vis Rs 2,525 crore reported in the April-June of FY'11.

For the full year, 2010-11, the company had reported a net profit of Rs 10,867.35 crore, while its net sales were Rs 50,233.59 crore.

The Coal India Chairman said it has been making continuous efforts to scale up its operations despite issues like environmental clearances affecting the company.

In 2011-12, the company has kept a moderate growth target of 5-6 per cent in its coal production at around 460 million tonnes (MT) vis-a-vis last year's production of 431.33 MT.

However, the Coal India Chairman termed it as "momentary" and said, "Our production was 431 MT last year but it happened due to some issues related to environmental clearances. That is momentary. In the long run, we will demonstrate a significant growth and our coal production will also rise."

The company is the world's largest coal miner, with a total estimated coal reserves of 64.3 billion tonnes, while its proven reserves are about 52.4 billion tonnes.

The company operates 471 mines in 21 coalfields across 8 states in India through 7 wholly-owned subsidiaries.

(JPN/Agencies)