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Facebook Invests An Eye-Watering $5.7B in India’s Jio Platforms

Facebook (FB) has announced a $5.7 billion, or INR 43,574 crore, investment for 9.99% of Jio Platforms Limited, an Indian telecommunications company that operates a national LTE network with coverage across all 22 telecom circles.

Jio Platflorms- which the deal values at around $65.95 billion- is part of Reliance Industries Limited, and Facebook is now its largest minority shareholder.

“In less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388 million people online, fueling the creation of innovative new enterprises and connecting people in new ways. We are committed to connecting more people in India together with Jio” says the social media giant.

For instance, by bringing together JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, with WhatsApp, Facebook believes it can enable people to connect with businesses, shop and ultimately purchase products all via their mobile phones.

As Facebook points out, India is currently experiencing a dynamic social and economic transformation, driven by the rapid adoption of digital technologies. Indeed, in just the past five years, more than 560 million people in India have gained internet access.

“Our goal is to enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for the more than 60 million small businesses across India” the company concludes.

Overall, FB shows a bullish Strong Buy analyst consensus on TipRanks. In the last three months, 36 out of 38 analysts have published buy ratings on the stock. However, FB is currently trading down 17% on a year-to-date basis, with a 4% drop in the last five day’s alone. (See Facebook stock analysis on TipRanks).

“We believe the stock will likely remain under pressure in the near-term due to negative Street revisions, but we would be buyers on any weakness post the quarter,” writes Mizuho Securities analyst James Lee. He has a buy rating on Facebook and $220 price target (29% upside potential).

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