Reliance Industries’ luxury real estate bet gets HSBC financing boost


By Ben Stupples

HSBC Holdings Plc has nearly doubled the size of a loan arrangement to part of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s business empire, bolstering its bet on Asia’s richest person.


The London-based bank originally provided a £60 million ($73 million) loan facility to a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. shortly after it acquired the Stoke Park estate in southeast England for £57 million in 2021, according to UK registry filings. 

It has since extended the arrangement three times, with the latest disclosed increase in December taking it to £115 million, the filings show. HSBC has been involved for more than a decade in financing arrangements for Stoke Park, a roughly 300-acre (121-hectare) Buckinghamshire leisure property that includes a championship golf course and has provided a setting for two James Bond films.

Ambani’s conglomerate is now carrying out a major refurbishment of Stoke Park, a marquee asset in its shift away from the energy sector that has underpinned the billionaire’s fortune. Reliance’s renovation plans include replacing the roof of the property’s Georgian-era mansion that is now a luxury hotel, erecting seven-star villas and removing surface-level parking.

Ambani, 66, is the world’s 11th-richest person through his major stake in Reliance, India’s most valuable company, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A representative for HSBC declined to comment. A representative for Mumbai-based Reliance didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

HSBC and Ambani’s companies have a history of working together, spanning blockchain-enabled transactions and other ways of speeding up business in India. In June, they executed a form of derivatives contract the day after India allowed banks to offer enhanced currency-hedging opportunities to customers.

HSBC is betting on India to expand its business worldwide and has joined rival firms in boosting wealth-management operations in the country. A steady stream of senior HSBC executives have visited India during the past few years including Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn, who met with Ambani and other members of Asia’s richest in 2022.

Reliance, a retail-to-refining conglomerate, bought Stoke Park as part of a broader pivot toward consumer offerings. It previously acquired UK-based toy-store chain Hamleys in 2019 and expanded the British retail icon in India. It also bought an indirect stake in the five-star Mandarin Oriental New York hotel.

This year, Reliance reached a deal with hospitality firm Oberoi Hotels & Resorts to help manage assets including Stoke Park, which was a setting for both the 1964 Goldfinger and 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies installments of the James Bond franchise. More recently, the estate provided a setting for The Crown, Netflix Inc.’s drama about the British royal family.


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