Abu Dhabi's IHC 'still evaluating' Adani Enterprises FPO stake

Shares in Adani Group companies continued to fall amid Hindenburg Research report

International Holding Company in Abu Dhabi was founded to help diversify and develop non-oil business sectors in the UAE.  Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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International Holding Company (IHC), the UAE's most valuable listed company, is "still evaluating the opportunity" to bid for Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises' 200 billion rupees ($2.45 billion) follow-on sale of shares that began this week.

"We are still evaluating the opportunity, just like any other business case," Ahmad Ibrahim of IHC told The National in a statement, adding that the company does not comment on other organisations' business activities as part of its policy.

"Our business decisions are purely based on an analysis of objective facts, aided by the use of business intelligence and our analytics tools, which help us to achieve the maximum benefits for our shareholders under the corporate governance regulation."

Shares in Adani Group companies, which are controlled by one of the world's richest men, Gautam Adani, plummeted this week after US investor Hindenburg Research said it was shorting the conglomerate’s stocks and accused companies owned by Asia’s richest man of brazen market manipulation and accounting fraud.

On Thursday, Jatin Jalundhwala, the head of the Adani Group’s legal department, said the group is considering legal action against US investor Hindenburg Research.

“We are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research,” Mr Jalundhwala said in a statement.

He referred to the short seller allegations as “maliciously mischievous, unresearched”.

“The volatility in Indian stock markets created by the report is of great concern and has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens.”

Seven listed companies in the Adani conglomerate have lost a combined $48 billion in market capitalisation since Wednesday, with US bonds of Adani companies also falling after Hindenburg flagged concerns in a January 24 report about debt levels and the use of tax havens, according to Reuters.

Adani Group chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh also dismissed Hindenburg Research's allegations and described them as “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations".

IHC was founded in 1998 as part of an initiative to diversify and develop non-oil business sectors in the UAE. The company has a market value of about Dh882 billion as of Friday and has been rapidly expanding its operations globally, through acquisitions and joint investments.

Last year, it completed a Dh7.3 billion investment deal with the Adani Group.

As part of the transaction, IHC made investments in three green-focused companies in the group, including Adani Green Energy, Adani Transmission and Adani Enterprises, which are all listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

Updated: January 27, 2023, 11:25 AM